Medieval Movie Club Presents: The Devils (1971)
Join us for the first edition of ‘Medieval Movie Club’ and explore how contemporary depictions of the Middle Ages intersect with and shed light on 21st century anxieties and preoccupations.
Our first medieval movie isn’t a medieval movie at all, but it is a useful tool in analysing what we come to expect when we meet with the Middle Ages on film. Ken Russell’s The Devils dramatises the real historical account of a group of Ursuline nuns apparently possessed by a Catholic priest in 17th century France. In the film, disordered spaces give birth to disordered identities and 70s camp flair mingles with concepts that appear medieval to the modern eye, such as: witchcraft, demonic possession, plague and pestilence, barbaric torture, mysticism and sensual spirituality. These concepts will interlace with other films in our series and provide a framework for discussing how the medieval resonates with the modern. The film offers a temporal ambiguity that is ripe for dissection and serves as a testament to the perils of periodization and the powerful political agency of the medieval both in the past and today
The film will begin with a short introduction and will be followed by an open discussion and drinks in Saramago. MMC believes in democratising the Middle Ages and welcomes debate from anyone interested in the subject matter, from any background.
£2 (suggested donation),
18+, Presented in the original UK 'X' certificate version.