Martin Teller's Movie Reviews

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Posted by martinteller on November 18, 2007

France 1808, the Marquis de Sade and the other inmates of an insane asylum put on a play/musical about the radical Jean-Paul Marat and the failures of revolution.  The film (itself an adaptation of a play) is to be praised for its unique and fascinating form.  The increasing chaos of the performance is captured beautifully by the photography, which is marvelously composed but always slightly off-kilter.  I suspect Kubrick may have been influenced, and not only because Patrick Magee (as de Sade) would later appear in A Clockwork Orange.  There is a seething intensity with a playful undercurrent, and the songs are quite good as well.  However, I didn’t care much for the content.  Too talky and preachy, too political and philosophical… like the worst of Godard.  And the acting is entirely too “ACTING!”, which is probably to be expected when you’ve got the Royal Shakespeare Company playing crazy people.  I’m glad I saw such an original work, but I can’t say I enjoyed it very much.  Rating: 6


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