Production: UK, 1966
Director: Peter Brook
Category: Experimental
The first substantial screen portrayal of the Marquis de Sade, by Patrick Magee, is the centrepiece of Peter Brook’s Marat/Sade, a film of a play and a play within a film, showing the inmates of Charenton asylum performing a theatrical piece written for them by de Sade – hence the film’s full title, The Persecution And Assassination Of Jean-Paul Marat As Performed By The Inmates Of The Asylum Of Charenton Under The Direction Of The Marquis De Sade. As the play progresses, the “actors” gradually lose control and, spurred on by the anti-authoritarian Marquis, plunge the whole madhouse into violent chaos. Magee gives a customarily powerful performance, seething with both subversion and perversion, and Brook transcends the film’s stage origins by his lucid and mobile camera-work. Inspired by Antonin Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty, Peter Weiss’s original play was also produced for television in Finland ( as Jean-Paul Marat förföljd och mördad så som det framställs av patienterna på hospitalet Charenton under ledning av herr de Sade) that same year.

Posted by Captain Nightshade

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