Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 16th, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, April 22nd, 1985
Director: Marco Bellocchio
Writers: Marco Bellocchio, Ennio De Concini, Enrico Palandri
Cast: Maruschka Detmers, Federico Pitzalis, Anita Laurenzi, Alberto Di Stasio, Riccardo De Torrebruna
DVD released: August 11th, 2009
Approximate running time: 115 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Italian
DVD Release: Mya Communication
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
Devil in The Flesh is based the novel “Le Diable Au Corps” written by Raymond Radiguet and before Marco Bellocchio 1985 cinematic adaptation this novel’s source material had been made into a movie once before in Claude Autant-Lara 1946’s film which was also named Devil in The Flesh. Marco Bellocchio’s direction in Devil in the Flesh is near perfectly as his lyrical compositions dance lightly around Carlo Crivelli’s strings driven score that is a moving and powerful as Bernard Herrmann masterful score for Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. There is a dream like quality to the films narrative structure that lends well to some of the films more surreal images.
There are three man themes that drive this film loneliness, infidelity, and obsession. Giulia is uncertain about the future of her and husband Giacomo who she is only able to see locked din a cage from afar. In walks in Andrea who has never been in love and his initial infatuation leads to the infidelity that ultimately become the two lovers obsessions as they are now unable to function without each other. Federico Pitzalis who portrayed the character of Andrea stars in his one and only film appearance. Overall he has an incredible presence considering his lack of experience and there is a naivety about his character that is also most likely a product of his inexperience as an actor. Maruschka Detmers portrayal of the depraved wife who seeks out a new lover is simply amazing. Through out the films it is difficult not to be drawn to her in every scene that she appears in as she oozes with an almost primal sexuality that will make your blood rise. Once Giulia and Andrea’s forbidden love is exposed they start to let their jealously get in the way of their relationship as they start to doubt each others motives. One scene that will be an eye opener for most viewers in when Andrea is sitting on a bed and Giulia gives him a blow job. There is no simulated sex going the two actors are really in the moment. Ultimately Devil in The Flesh is a film that is rich in subtext and it is filled with some wonderful performances.
Devil in the Flesh is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. This transfer has been flagged for progressive playback. Devil in the Flesh was previously released on DVD in North America by No Shame in 2005. This new DVD release from Mya Communication DVD is completely uncut (the falatio scene fully intact). Comparing the two transfers Mya Communication and No Shame they are most definitely from the same High Definition source.
This release comes with one audio option an Italian language track presented in a Dolby Digital mono. Removable English subtitles that are easy to read and are error free have been included.
Extras for this release include a theatrical trailer for film (2 minutes 30 seconds – in Italian with English subtitles) and a photo gallery with 11 images. This release does not carry over some of the extras that were on the No Shame DVD and they are as follows, a documentary titled “Stolen Years, Hidden Lives”, a twenty seven minute interview with director Marco Bellocchio and a collectable booklet that includes an essay about the film, a text piece titled “A Brief Chronicle of the Armed Struggle in Italy in the Sixties and Seventies” and a bio for director Marco Bellocchio. Overall Devil in the Flesh gets a solid audio / video presentation from Mya Communication.