The opening of John Hillcoat's The Proposition wastes no time getting you in the mood. Four or five criminals are being shot at in a small shack and quickly answer back with ample fire power. Blood spurts everywhere, and two Asian prostitutes are quickly disposed of.
It's the 1880s: Dirt and dust are on the rise and hygiene is sadly in decline. The Burns brothers have been split up: Eddie (Danny Huston) has run off into the desert caves of Australia while Charlie (Guy Pearce) and Mike (Richard Wilson) have gotten snagged in a gunfight. The captain of the local English sheriffs, Captain Stanley (a brooding Ray Winstone), has ordered the hanging of Mike but tells Charlie that if he kills Eddie, he will turn them both free.
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Love Is the Devil is one of few films that is probably just as good -- if not better -- with the sound turned off. Listening to Bacon (Jacobi) talk incessantly to his gay lover George (Craig), whom he meets when he breaks into his studio, gets nuaseating after about 20 minutes. Watching the film is nauseating too, but only because of all the camera trickery. Overall, this is pretty cool -- though you realize quickly that it's a crutch to avoid showing you none of Bacon's art, since they couldn't get permission to do so for the movie. No surprise -- Bacon isn't exactly a hero here.
Continue reading: Love Is the Devil Review
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