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Love is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon
Derek Jacobi and Daniel Craig star as artist Francis Bacon and his muse George Dyer in John Maybury’s darkly exquisite biopic.
Biopic 1998 87 mins
Director: John Maybury
Daniel Craig plays George Dyer, petty crook turned artist's muse, in this unconventional biopic of painter Francis Bacon (an uncanny portrayal by Derek Jacobi). The 1960s Soho demi-monde, centred on the infamous Colony Room, is artfully realised by director John Maybury, both seedy and seductive as Bacon's tempestuous relationship with Dyer plays out in a haze of drugs and alcohol.
Love is the Devil contrasts Dyer’s decline with Bacon’s rising fame, until their sado-masochistic love affair is cut short by Dyer's suicide in a Paris hotel room during a 1971 retrospective of Bacon’s work. Permission to use his paintings - among the most valuable in contemporary art history - was denied by the artist's estate. In its design Maybury’s film overcomes this potential hurdle with ingenious references to Bacon's melancholic style.
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