The Devils (Russell, 1971): BFI Southbank, NFT 1, 8pm
The Scala Forever team, who organised a season of movies in the capital last year recalling the days of the wonderful Scala cinema at King's Cross, are back with Russell Forever as a tribute to the late, great British film-maker. Here are the details for the full Ken Russell season screenings.
This will be the season highlight for many. Tom Huddleston's review in Time Out sums it up well. Go out and beg, borrow or steal a ticket for this event:
'The unexpurgated cut of Russell's ornate, near-unwatchable taboo-busting masterpiece receives only its third British screening. The only major addition is the infamous 'rape' of Christ, in which the 'possessed' nuns use a life-size statue of the Saviour as a rutting post, but although that sequence may seem relatively tame by modern standards, there's plenty here that's still incredibly shocking. The scenes of plague are truly vile, as are the climatic torture scenes. But what horrifies most is Russell's nihilistic view of the world in general, and humanity in particular: almost without exception, we are shown to be vain, lustful, perverse, self-serving, murderous, disease-ridden, exploitative, decadent, deluded creatures unworthy or incapable of salvation. Approach with extreme caution.'
Here is an extract to give you a flavour.