Love is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon, 1998
2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in Britain. To celebrate, Towner presents a series of screenings and events to explore the last fifty years of LGBT+ experiences in the UK.
Featuring award-winning performances from Derek Jacobi and a fresh-faced, pre-Bond Daniel Craig, Love is the Devil tells the story of painter Francis Bacon, concentrating on his strained, short-lived relationship with small-time thief, George Dyer. With an astonishing supporting cast, time and space is warped as director John Maybury inserts young British artists of the moment – Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas and Gillian Wearing to name a few – into scenes at the Colony Room club, where Bacon famously drank in the ‘60s.
“Love Is the Devil is a devilish brew of naturalism, Baconesque film effects, history and gossip. It is a warped anthropological detour into the fag end of 1950s Soho bohemia, dragged too far into the 1960s but it is also a tragic love story, with astonishing performances and character cameos.” – Adrian Searle, The Guardian