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Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon (1998)

Unrated | | Biography, Drama, Romance | 7 October 1998 (USA)
Biography of British painter Francis Bacon focuses on his relationship with his lover, George Dyer, a former small time crook.

Director:

John Maybury

Writer:

John Maybury
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7 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Derek Jacobi ... Francis Bacon
Daniel Craig ... George Dyer
Tilda Swinton ... Muriel Belcher
Anne Lambton ... Isabel Rawsthorne
Adrian Scarborough ... Daniel Farson
Karl Johnson ... John Deakin
Annabel Brooks Annabel Brooks ... Henrietta Moraes
Richard Newbould Richard Newbould ... Blonde Billy (as Richard Newbold)
Ariel de Ravenel Ariel de Ravenel ... French Official
Tallulah Tallulah ... Ian Board
Andy Linden Andy Linden ... Ken Bidwell
David Kennedy ... Joe Furneval
Gary Hume Gary Hume ... Volker Dix
Damian Dibben ... Brighton Rent Boys
Antony Cotton ... Brighton Rent Boys
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Storyline

In the 1960s, British painter Francis Bacon (1909-1992) surprises a burglar and invites him to share his bed. The burglar, a working class man named George Dyer, 30 years Bacon's junior, accepts. Bacon finds Dyer's amorality and innocence attractive, introducing him to his Soho pals. In their sex life, Dyer dominates, Bacon is the masochist. Dyer's bouts with depression, his drinking and pill popping, and his satanic nightmares strain the relationship, as does his pain with Bacon's casual infidelities. Bacon paints, talks with wit, and, as Dyer spins out of control, begins to find him tiresome. Could Bacon care less? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Study for a portrait of Francis Bacon.


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Strand Releasing

Country:

UK | France | Japan | USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

7 October 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£46,077 (United Kingdom), 20 September 1998, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$63,202, 11 October 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$343,023, 19 December 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cameo: Costume Designer Annie Symons is a patron of the Colony Room Club. See more »

Quotes

Francis Bacon: [Opening line] Like a bomb exploding in reverse. Thoughts, ideas... fragments of images. Shards of memory, like shrapnel, all come back to me, and are forced back out in a cruel pastiche of experience.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Miles (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

In Party Mood
Written by Jack Strachey
courtesy Bosworth & Company Limited
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User Reviews

 
Hauntingly evil
4 December 1998 | by stoney-2See all my reviews

This film will insinuate itself into the images under your closed eyelids. Meat, blood, cuts, scars, wounds, assassinations, executions, dismemberments, car accidents, beatings, and burnings will all rush together in an explosion of pain, longing, and unsatisfied hungers. Homosexual sado-masochism, not gay love. The absolute evil of pure genius. A paint brush slashes the spirit as a razor, the body. The tormented torments; the masochist punishes the sadist. Flesh is set aflame with a cigarette, not a kiss. Francis Bacon is the one true artist of the postwar era. He understood that humanity had irrevocably crossed the barrier between reason and madness. This film casts us into the abyss of the collective unconscious where we may swim or be burned to a crisp. Hold your eyelids open with sharp orange toothpicks and suck on the bloody images. Watch the film five times and then seek out Bacon's work, at least in books, if not in museums. Perhaps then your unspoken thirst may be quenched and you will grasp the 20th Century before you plummet into the 21st.


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