On Monday, Jan. 25, don’t miss the first night of the inimitable art and film series, Queer/Art/Film, now at the IFC Center! We open with Downtown superstar Justin Bond presenting an almost-never-screened, X-rated version of Ken Russell’s outrageous THE DEVILS!
The evening is likely to sell out, so buy your tickets in advance here online (only $1 additional service charge) at:
It makes perfect sense that Justin Bond, that self-proclaimed “tranny witch” who gleefully mocked religion during his days in the duo Kiki & Herb, would select an ultra- blasphemous film for his QUEER/ART/FILM selection. Adapted from an Aldous Huxley novel, Ken Russell’s 1971 cult-classic THE DEVILS stars Vanessa Redgrave as a hunchbacked Mother Superior in 17th century France, whose sexual obsession with a handsome priest (Oliver Reed), spirals out of control. The film was considered so shocking when it premiered in 1971 that it received an X rating, and was sliced by the censors. But don’t worry, we will be screening the full, uncut version of the film. Expect lesbianism, torture, orgies, masturbation, and incredible production design from another controversial British filmmaker — Derek Jarman! EXPECT TO BE SHOCKED!
(1971, 35mm, 111min)
Justin on THE DEVILS:
When I was very young I fell in love with Vanessa Redgrave. The film roles she played deeply stirred my imagination… Mary, Queen of Scots, Isadora Duncan, and Lillian Hellman’s best friend Julia to name a few. So many of her films I wanted to see weren’t shown in the small town in Maryland where I grew up, or on TV. The advent of VCRs opened a whole world of film to me. I scrambled to see as many subversively glamorous movies as I could. One of them was THE DEVILS. At the time I was a closeted Tranny Witch living in a stiflingly oppressive, conservative town. As soon as I put on THE DEVILS, I knew I was watching something “evil” that I shouldn’t be exposed to and I was thrilled. THE DEVILS was my first Ken Russell film. He lacerated the sacred monsters of the church, was blatantly homoerotic, sympathized with the witches and was stylishly camp. The production designer, Derek Jarman, would latter go on to make one of my all-time favorite films, Jubilee. But I was asked to choose a film that influenced my world view during my formative years, In that regard THE DEVILS definitely takes the communion wafer.