NOTE: Saw this on 35mm on the big screen as a double feature with A Death in Venice. Way to see it.
” . . . find a good man. [Pause] They exist.”
Holy goddamn amazing. Lived up to the hype and drama.
So full of ambition, visual bombast, and . . . anger that I could not help but feel unbelievably moved at the end of this picture.
I find myself unable to articulate what makes this film work, and how every aspect of its design fits into this screaming and bastardized call to arms.
It’s disturbing, it’s funny, it’s gorgeous, it’s ugly, it’s broken, it’s alive, it breathes, it forms fires in your soul. I don’t know, I don’t know.
Every performance is up to 11, yet it feels so right in the context of the hysteria of the moment, and it allows Oliver Reed’s quiet moments at the end resonate so much more.
It is a film that believes in deserved rebellion, that believes that man can change, that believes that man needs to change.
It feels so powerful, especially now. You hear Grandier screaming “Look at your city!” as he burns at the stake, and you want to run, you want to look away from what they’ve done, but you can’t. This world is here, and you must stare at its corrupted stature.
I can only leave you with this, this beautiful little speech that Grandier gives in his trial, a true piece of poetry about our weakness, about our desire to change, and about the forgiveness required to let us move on:
“What is this? A trial on the thoughts of my youth? Old love letters, and notes, stuffed into drawers and the bottom of cupboards, being saved for the day a man might need reminding . . . that he was once loved?”