Banned for over a decade for its outspoken criticism of the post-WWII communist regime in Hungary, Péter Bacsó's 'The Witness' has since then achieved unparalleled cult status in its native... See full summary »
Filmed with five hidden cameras, The Tightrope is a total immersion into the creative process behind legendary theater director Peter Brook's work -- powerful, intimate, and emotionally ... See full summary »
The Shakespeare tragedy that gave us the expression "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child." King Lear has not one but two ungrateful children, and it's ... See full summary »
July 13, 1808 at the Charenton Insane Asylum just outside Paris. The inmates of the asylum are mounting their latest theatrical production, written and produced by who is probably the most famous inmate of the facility, the Marquis de Sade. The asylum's director, M. Coulmier, a supporter of the current French regime led by Napoleon, encourages this artistic expression as therapy for the inmates, while providing the audience - the aristocracy - a sense that they are being progressive in inmate treatments. Coulmier as the master of ceremonies, his wife and daughter in special places of honor, and the cast, all of whom are performing the play in the asylum's bath house, are separated from the audience by prison bars. The play is a retelling of a period in the French Revolution culminating with the assassination exactly fifteen years earlier of revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat by peasant girl, Charlotte Corday. The play is to answer whether Marat was a friend or foe to the people of France. ... Written by
Patrick Magee won the 1966 Tony Award (New York City) for Supporting or Features Actor in a Drama for "Marat/Sade" as Marquis de Sade recreating his role in this production. See more »
Marquis de Sade:
To me, the only reality is imagination; the world inside myself. The revolution no longer interests me.
See more »
The opening credits - the play's title, stage credits and the actors appearing in the film - pop on the screen, one word at a time, until it is filled. The closing credits - the film's production staff - start off with a full screen of words; they then pop off the screen, one word at a time, until it is completely empty...just as it was when the film began. See more »
expertly portrayed characters from the asylum at Charenton
I was hooked on this movie the minute I laid eyes upon it... bought the video and meticulously transcribed every word onto my copy of a transcript. I found the Shakespearean troupe to be excellent in their portrayals of madmen performing a play. The French Revolution being the main theme, echoed by various inmates' views of it, as well as several forays into philosophical thinking of man's condition. Plenty of symbolism, hard to draw a line where reality ends and madness begins (is it history, the play, the actor, the character, the madman, the script, etc.). Bears repeated watchings well, if one is interested in terrific character portrayal, philosophy, history, mental illness in general, etc. Asks that you pay close attention at all times, however... some of the extended debates between De Sade and Marat are absolutely riveting to watch. The interplay of several levels of perception is fascinating, and the overall effect is definitely one of a real insane asylum, disturbingly so at times. There is much humour here as well, again on multiple levels... this is definitely an intellectual movie, a thinking man's movie... all action takes place in the single bathouse of the asylum. Many aspects both of history and the philosophies of revolutionary leaders and their antagonists are explored. Highly recommended watching.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?