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Old 11-28-2002, 07:57 AM   #1
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The Devils

It remains, for me, one of the most, if not THE most, disturbing film I have seen. Disturbing as it is horrific, horrific as it is abhorrent, abhorrent as it is accurate, accurate as it is true.

Has anyone heard of Ken Russel's finest film to date? It tells the story, the very true story, of possession at a French town by the name of Loudun. It involves a whole convent of Ursuline nuns, allegedly possessed as a result of the devilish practices of their handsome spiritual director, Father Urbain Grandier SJ, who had arrived in Loudun in 1617 as a parish priest and ended his life at the stake as a result of the nuns' accusations.

Even more layered than that, though, is the story of hunch-backed Mother Superioir Jeanne des Anges (played by the greatest British actress, Vanessa Redgrave) and her obsession with this Father Grandier. They never meet, but her obsessions ultimately bring about this mass hysteria, her torture, his torture and his death.

It starts with her fantasising of Grandier as Jesus, seeing him as the saviour on the cross, and then their imminent copulation, until the whole village (who is watching them) start laughing at her and the exaggeration of her hunchback. In their eyes she is grotesque, as well as her own.

The story and film does indeed become more and more grotesque. What starts with simple masturbatory fantasies ends up to the insanity of the nuns, and the barbaric (yet realistic) torture of Sister Jeanne, as well as the others. After crossing the line of madness, she confesses to her torturers (sent by Richelieu to destroy Grandier as he is fiercely defiant of having the town Loudun being controlled by Richelieu) that Grandier possessed her soul, her bodyand her mind. He is then accused of demonic possesion and heresy, then burnt at the stake after a lot of scenes of very VERY graphic torture.

At the heart of this film, is the defiance of the tyrannical regime of the Church, the protection of one's own spiritual values, the way repression corrupts the mind and ultimately body, and how religion can sometimes be manipulated by unholy forces with unholy intentions. It is also, I repeat, a true story.

However, in order to get to the film, one has to go through several controversial scenes, scenes that were censored and allegedly so blasphemous they were considered perilious to keep in the movie. Scenes including masturbation with a crucifix, the desecration of a woman's body with torturing implements, and the climax of the apparent blasphemy - the rape of a statue of Jesus Christ by a crowd of insane nuns.

These scenes were restored the other night when it was shown on television for the first time, and, needless to say, has sparked off some controversy. Should this have been censored in the first place? Do people have a right to censor things? Is censorship right?

My answer to all of those are a firm and passionate NO. The film that I saw was more poignant, more powerful and ultimately, more spiritual than any other movie shown in Sunday school. I believe in the movie, and I don't think ANY movie should be censored. Having been brought up in Middle Eastern countries where films are cut to ribbons, key scenes put away and cut as to not 'offend'. I find this ridiculous and pathetic.

I say NO to censorship in any way, shape or form.

In extreme cases such as these, is censorship justified?

This link may give you some more background information on what happened.

http://www.nd.edu/~dharley/witchcraft/Loudun.html

Ant.
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Old 04-30-2003, 02:53 PM   #2
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I agree with you. I am vehemently anti-censorship.

What's even worse is when it deals with the truth about religion and the crimes it refuses to be sorry for even to this day. I think if religion can't handle a bit of "Thou shalt not bear false witness," then maybe it's time we reevaluate the place religion should be in our society, and whether it is more concerned with power and money, rather than morality and the truth.

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Old 04-30-2003, 03:07 PM   #3
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I agree. I'm very anti-censorship. If you don't want to watch something you don't have to. The government shouldn't tell us what's "offensive" and what's not. We have to decide that ourselves.
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Old 04-30-2003, 04:21 PM   #4
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My God, there are replies!



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Old 04-30-2003, 06:18 PM   #5
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I thought this was a thread abour the british group, The Devils, with Nick Rhodes ( of duran duran ) and stephen tin tin duffy.

guess I was wrong!

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Old 04-30-2003, 06:27 PM   #6
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I can't believe they would show something like that on public television
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Old 04-30-2003, 06:29 PM   #7
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Hey bonosloveslave;

I was wondering, what exactly are you agains them showing on public television? I'm just curious to know which part you find particularly shocking.

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Old 04-30-2003, 06:50 PM   #8
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Basically all the sexual stuff you described Anthony. I guess showing it in a movie theater or being available for sale or rental is one thing, but broadcasting on TV I think is another matter. There is a big risk for children to stumble upon something like that, and I would be horrified if I found out one of my kids had seenit at home. Yes, parents should have some control over their kids and what they watch, but TV has the greatest potential for kids to access.
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Old 04-30-2003, 07:24 PM   #9
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bls,

There are members of my family and some goods friends I have that will not let their kids watch fox network or mtv. My guess, this was on in the evening after 9 pm.

I respect parents that do not want their children to view certain programs. But, I think t is impractical to child proof the world to their standards.
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Old 04-30-2003, 07:29 PM   #10
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I remember sneaking downstairs to watch tv late at night when I couldn't sleep as a kid - they show alot on Canadian channels!

I also don't think I should absolutely have to consult the tv guide before turning on the tv lest I stumble across something like that while channel surfing
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Old 05-01-2003, 04:34 AM   #11
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I am reminded of a scene in Cinema Paradiso where a kissing scene is shown in the local cinema for the first time. The audience gasps as the man kisses the woman's back. They gasp again when he repeats it. Then the woman turns toward the man and they kiss full on, to the happy eruptions and applause and incredulity of the audience. I found this innocence immensely touching.

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Old 05-01-2003, 10:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by bonosloveslave
I also don't think I should absolutely have to consult the tv guide before turning on the tv lest I stumble across something like that while channel surfing
I totally agree. Parents are supposed to be in control of what their kids watch, but come on, this isn't a perfect world. Channel surfing happens, and kids can get a glimpse of anything. For instance, dad and kid could be watching Even Stevens on the Disney Channel. Dad goes to the kitchen to get them some ice cream. Kid, not wanting to watch the commercials (good grief, they're long on the Disney Channel) stumbles across that trash. Dad comes back in the middle of one of those scenes. Heck, if I were that dad, I'd have a kiniption (sp?) fit right there. I'd be on the phone with that PBS station quicker than you could say "Dad's ticked!"

Do ya'll REALLY want nothing, nothing at all, to be censored?
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Old 05-01-2003, 11:02 AM   #13
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I think we censor too much, which is probably why this nation collectively has the IQ of a brick. When you child-proof a nation, expect people to stay children.

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Old 05-01-2003, 11:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Do ya'll REALLY want nothing, nothing at all, to be censored?
Yes. It's the job of the parent, no one else. You teach the child the principles and the morals you feel right for your child. If you did that and you did it correctly, your child would question something like that if he stumbled across that while channel surfing. You can't place your child in a bubble. Children see the same disturbing things that go on in this world day in and day out. It's no one's job but the parents to explain to them and talk to them about these things.

These parents who spend their time, money, and energy boycotting bands, movies, etc. are not scared of the "art" as much as they are scared that they failed as a parent and that all their years of parenting will be flushed down the drain by one 2 hour movie, or one concert, etc. You can't stand for freedom of speech and then ban it when it doesn't suit your needs.
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Old 05-01-2003, 12:05 PM   #15
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Some random thoughts:

Typically, we are against censorship until we hear or see something offensive.

Education of children is primarily the parents responsibility. Rather than try and "protect" our children from the evils of the world, we take such events as training opportunities. The "it takes a village" concept is nonsense. Parents must invest the time daily to educate and train children.

There is one thing, however, that is being neglected - once a child sees an image, it can never be removed. Until you walk your own child through a disturbing image, you will never understand the impact such images can have on children.

As a parent, I am more concerned about the commercials on Fox (during a football game, for example) than a movie which resorts to shock images in the name of art. Our son know to change the channel whenever there is a break in the action during a game.
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