The Devils

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by the BFI and the films on them.

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criterion10
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Re: The Devils

#226 Post by criterion10 » Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:06 pm

An online movement has begun to #FreeTheDevils

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Re: The Devils

#227 Post by nolanoe » Fri Dec 26, 2014 8:55 am

WB is getting ridiculous now.

I mean - Mel Gibson did all sort of disturbing things to "his Christ" character played by Caviezel. Surely those scenes are more gruesome than what poor Ken had to come up with!?

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Re: The Devils

#228 Post by criterion10 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:51 pm

The Harvard Film Archive will be screening this at the end of the month from a film print. My guess is that it's the U.S. cut, especially with the runtime being listed as 109 minutes and all.

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Re: The Devils

#229 Post by MichaelB » Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:34 am

criterion10 wrote:The Harvard Film Archive will be screening this at the end of the month from a film print. My guess is that it's the U.S. cut, especially with the runtime being listed as 109 minutes and all.
Definitely the US cut with that running time. The UK theatrical cut runs 111 minutes, and I'm guessing the 2004 semi-restoration runs 113 or so.

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Re: The Devils

#230 Post by Dylan » Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:31 pm

This is likely the same 35mm print of the American release that just screened in Seattle at the Grand Illusion Cinema. I didn't make it to any of the screenings, but I was told by the projectionist that it was a good-looking print.

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Re: The Devils

#231 Post by criterion10 » Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:44 pm

Despite it unfortunately being the U.S. truncated cut, I decided to go to the Harvard screening, knowing that this is likely the only chance I'll have to see The Devils in 35mm. Definitely a solid print, despite its wear and tear. If anything, it demonstrated how great the BFI release looks and how accurately it reflects the actual film.

I was happy to see a large turn out for the film (the theater was 75% full), though I got the impression the audience wasn't exactly too fond of the film. One man walked out right as the infamous orgy began, and a older woman said to her husband afterwards, "I didn't expect it to be so violent." Laughs ensued throughout the film, which is to be expected given its over-the-top nature, but some were at rather unusual moments (i.e. the confession scene with Grandier and Madeline, or the opening of the large, red-cross painted doors in Richelieu's complex). The worst offense was that someone clapped as the end credits began, but no one joined along with him.

The first time I saw the film was in the U.S. cut, and I later did a comparison between this version and the bootleg (this was all before the BFI release saved the day). And I think that in both versions, the essence of the film remains, just in a much neutered context in the truncated one. WB did indeed do everything do remove any sight of pubic hair, leading to *many* unusual edits (some shots even repeat multiple times). Unfortunately, the scenes that are most damaged are some of the most important:
SpoilerShow
the exorcisms, the orgy, the torture, and the climactic burning. (In the latter, Oliver Reed's charred face is replaced by merely shots of the flames.)

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Re: The Devils

#232 Post by sammy h » Sun Sep 06, 2015 4:13 pm

A version of The Devils playing in Los Angeles in a couple weeks. http://beyondfest.com/portfolio/the-devils/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Description sounds like it's the director's cut, but judging from the listed running time, it most likely is the english cut, which would still be pretty great if so.

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Re: The Devils

#233 Post by Charles » Sun Sep 06, 2015 4:32 pm

"Special thanks to Warner Bros."

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Re: The Devils

#234 Post by criterion10 » Sun Sep 06, 2015 5:00 pm

Difficult to tell what cut it will be at the moment, as the description is riddled with paradoxes.

For instance: the 107-minute running time listed is the length of the original U.K. cut with PAL speed-up, as evidenced by the runtime of the BFI DVD. And considering the screening will be from a 35mm print (as opposed to the digibeta master that has been screened in the past of this version), there's no reason that the PAL speed-up would occur, so the running time listed is probably just a mistake.

Furthermore, the U.S. censored version (running about 108 minutes) was initially rated X, before being re-rated R further down the line, so the "RATED X ON RARE 35MM PRINT" claim should be taken with a grain of salt. (Although the "we are incredibly proud to present the X-rated version on 35mm for only the third time in the US" claim bodes well, as the U.S. cut has certainly been screened more than three times -- I even saw it when it played at Harvard in March.)

If anyone does attend next month, please report back on what version of the film screened (and if anyone needs a specific list of cuts/changes, I can provide that as well). It could bode quite well for a U.S. home video release if Warner did indeed allow the U.K. cut to be screened.

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Re: The Devils

#235 Post by beamish13 » Sun Sep 06, 2015 6:39 pm

According to the American Cinematheque's site, it's a DCP of the American cut.
I saw it at the Landmark's Nuart on 35mm a few years
ago-supposedly, the print was Martin Scorsese's

http://www.americancinemathequecalendar ... e-devils-2" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: The Devils

#236 Post by criterion10 » Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:03 pm

If it is a DCP, wouldn't that mean that WB has restored it? (And if they have restored it, then wouldn't that mean that they have plans to release it?)

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Re: The Devils

#237 Post by sammy h » Sun Sep 13, 2015 3:29 pm

Despite what's said on the Egyptian theatre site, the Beyond Fest confirmed the screening is in 35mm and when asked what version they are showing, they responded coyly with "as for which cut, let us just say it's only been shown three times on the big screen."
So it sounds like a 35mm print of the directors cut, which seems absolutely impossible, but hey, The Devils in any form on the big screen at the Egyptian is great no matter what.

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Re: The Devils

#238 Post by MichaelB » Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:19 pm

As far as I'm aware, the 2004 semi-restoration only exists on two SD Digibetas. Creating a 35mm print would require significant restoration, and it's wildly unlikely that (a) Warner Bros would have sanctioned this on 35mm (why bother when they could do it in 2K/4K?) and (b) that the cinema wouldn't be trumpeting this US premiere from the rafters.

So my money's on "not".

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Re: The Devils

#239 Post by criterion10 » Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:47 pm

And I'm pretty sure the 2004 Reconstruction was shown at least four times: once in 2004, once in 2011 (as part of the East End Film Festival), once in 2012 (to coincide with the BFI's DVD release), and another time as part of the BFI's censored film series (I'm forgetting its proper name and the year that it took place). I don't believe the reconstruction has ever been shown in the U.S.

Considering the complicated history of The Devils, that comment about this print having "only been shown three times on the big screen" was probably just another error. Though there is a chance this screening will be the of U.K. cut, which might very well have been shown in the U.S. only three times (all of the U.S. screenings that I've investigated into have been of the censored cut, but I could see WB having allowed a select few).

Update: And the Portobello Film Festival claims to have just screen the reconstruction earlier this month.

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Re: The Devils

#240 Post by criterion10 » Sun Sep 13, 2015 5:39 pm

Sorry to bog this thread down with yet another post, but the BeyondFest Twitter account just responded to me, claiming that the print is indeed the U.S. Cut.

So, whoever initially started all this nonsense about DCPs and the print having "only been shown three times on the big screen" clearly had no idea what they were talking about.

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Re: The Devils

#241 Post by RossyG » Mon Sep 14, 2015 5:27 am

Or they were being deliberately vague as they knew the idea of an uncut screening would sell more tickets.

The bloke quoted above sounds like a right twat. Asked a direct and fair question, he responds with a smug, "Well, let's just say..." No, how about you answer the question and stop playing games.

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Re: The Devils

#242 Post by pzadvance » Thu Oct 08, 2015 1:18 pm

I'm gonna be seeing the Beyond Fest screening tonight--my first time seeing any version of The Devils. Can anyone briefly lay out or point me to a good rundown of the difference between the various cuts?

And the last word on Beyond Fest's screening was that it's a print of the US cut, yeah?

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Re: The Devils

#243 Post by MichaelB » Thu Oct 08, 2015 2:14 pm

It's wildly unlikely to be anything else.

Sadly, that's the worst version to watch: Warner Bros censored it without Russell's consent, especially for things like nudity (of which there is - or should be - a great deal).

The British theatrical cut (on the BFI DVD) is far superior, and is the shorter of two versions that Russell himself approved. The slightly longer cut (which I call the 2004 semi-restoration) has only been shown in the UK as far as I'm aware, and has never been released on video.

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Re: The Devils

#244 Post by criterion10 » Thu Oct 08, 2015 2:33 pm

pzadvance wrote:I'm gonna be seeing the Beyond Fest screening tonight--my first time seeing any version of The Devils. Can anyone briefly lay out or point me to a good rundown of the difference between the various cuts?
Having done comprehensive comparisons between the two cuts (US and UK), I can say that the essence of the film remains in the US cut, but many scenes are extensively cut, ranging from the studio replacing certain shots with less inflammatory ones to outright lessening individual scenes. It's difficult to describe what exactly, as I don't want to spoil the film for you, but afterwards, be sure to take a look at my post above on this page, where I talk about some of affected scenes.

The 2004 Reconstruction is the most complete version (albeit still officially unreleased) and adds an entire scene, as well as a brief extension of another scene.

Let's hope this is one of the films Criterion picked up in their Warner deal.

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Re: The Devils

#245 Post by Professor Wagstaff » Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:03 pm

Definitely watch the Hell on Earth documentary to get some background on the major cuts from the film. The whole special is on Youtube with some of the excised clips.

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Re: The Devils

#246 Post by pzadvance » Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:27 pm

They're certainly going out of their way to make it sound like it's the uncut version...

But knowing nothing about the seemingly convoluted release history its had, I'll defer to the board's expertise... Still looking forward to it!

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Re: The Devils

#247 Post by MichaelB » Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:36 pm

Technically, the uncut version no longer exists, and I'd be astonished if a 35mm print existed of the 2004 semi-restoration, which as far as I'm aware only exists on SD Digibeta. So we can almost certainly rule that out.

It might be the British cut, which certainly does exist in 35mm - but it equally might be the original US X-rated cut, which is substantially shorter.

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Re: The Devils

#248 Post by criterion10 » Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:46 pm

Beyond Fest confirmed to me at an earlier date on Twitter that it was the 108-minute U.S. X-rated cut, which in other words, is the version Russell disowned.

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Re: The Devils

#249 Post by MichaelB » Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:49 pm

The British cut has never been shown in the US apart from via imported copies of the BFI DVD, has it?

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Re: The Devils

#250 Post by criterion10 » Thu Oct 08, 2015 8:31 pm

I don't believe it has (it certainly never received any official home video release here). And all of the screenings in the past years that I've researched into have been of the U.S. cut.

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