Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

Posts tagged “The Devils

Aldous Huxley

Aldous Leonard Huxley (26 July 1894 – 22 November 1963) was an English writer. Best known for his novel Brave New World and a wide-ranging output of essays, Huxley also edited the magazine Oxford Poetry, and published short stories, poetry, travel writing, film stories and scripts. Huxley spent the later part of his life in the United States, living in Los Angeles from 1937 until his death.

I’ve only read Brave New World (1931) and The Devils of Loudun (1952). Brave New World (1931, published in 1932), is set in London, AD 2540 (632 A.F. in the book), the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology and sleep-learning that combine to change society. The future society is an embodiment of the ideals that form the basis of futurology. Huxley answered this book with a reassessment in an essay, Brave New World Revisited (1958) and with his final work, a novel titled Island (1962).

The Devils of Loudun is a historical narrative of supposed demonic possession, religious fanaticism, sexual repression, and mass hysteria which occurred in 17th century France surrounding unexplained events that took place in the small town of Loudin; particularly on Roman Catholic priest Urbain Grandier and an entire convent of Ursuline Nuns, who allegedly became possessed by demons after Grandier made a pact with Satan. The events led to several public exorcisms and executions by burning. I must admit that I read this book after seeing the Ken Russell adaptation The Devils at a college cinema.

Aldous Huxley was a humanist, pacifist, and satirist, and he was latterly interested in spiritual subjects such as parapsychology and philosophical mysticism. He is also well known for advocating and taking psychedelics. By the end of his life Huxley was widely recognized to be one of the pre-eminent intellectuals of his time and respected as an important researcher into visual communication and sight-related theories as well.

For much more in depth reading about Huxley, and especially Brave New World, check out these website: huxley.net and these videos on youtube.


Simone Signoret

Simone Signoret (25 March 1921 – 30 September 1985) was a French film actress often hailed as one of France’s greatest movie stars. She became the first French person to win an Academy Award, for her role in Room at the Top (1959). In her lifetime she also received a BAFTA, an Emmy, Golden Globe, Cannes Film Festival recognition and the Silver Bear for Best Actress.

Les Diaboliques, released as Diabolique in the United States and variously translated as The Devils or The Fiends, is a 1955 French black-and-white feature film directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot, starring Simone Signoret, Vera Clouzot and Paul Meurisse. It is based on the novel Celle qui n’était plus (She Who Was No More) by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac. The story blends elements of thriller and horror to great effect, with the plot focusing on a woman and her husband’s mistress who conspire to murder the man; after the crime is committed, however, his body disappears, and a number of strange occurrences ensue.

Clouzot, right after finishing Wages of Fear allegedly snatched the screenplay rights from master of suspense, director Alfred Hitchcock. This movie apparently helped inspire Hitchcock’s Psycho. Robert Bloch himself, the author of novel “Psycho”, has stated in an interview that his all-time favorite horror film is Diaboliques.


Ken Russell – R.I.P.

It was remiss of me to not post this three days ago… I only found out. R.I.P. Ken Russell.

Maverick British director Ken Russell died in his sleep Sunday at age 84. Russell’s controversial films included the Oliver Reed-Vanessa Redgrave starrer The Devils; Women In Love; and Tommy, the screen version of The Who’s rock opera. In the U.S., he directed the psychedelic Altered States, but his collaboration with equally strong-willed screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky haunted that film, and the failure of his next film, Crimes Of Passion, sent him back to the UK. There, he continued making films, the last of which was The Fall Of The Louse Of Usher.

Russell was a polarizing filmmaker, with critics often split on his films. His movies rarely achieved commercial success thanks to his unique takes on provocative themes that often included sex, drugs and violence. His 1971 film Women In Love, an adaptation of the D.H. Lawrence novel, was his only work to receive Academy Award consideration: it was nominated for four Oscars in 1971, including for best director, and won Best Actress for Glenda Jackson.