July 13, 1808 at the Charenton Insane Asylum just outside Paris. The inmates of the asylum are mounting their latest theatrical production, written and produced by who is probably the most famous inmate of the facility, the Marquis de Sade. The asylum's director, M. Coulmier, a supporter of the current French regime led by Napoleon, encourages this artistic expression as therapy for the inmates, while providing the audience - the aristocracy - a sense that they are being progressive in inmate treatments. Coulmier as the master of ceremonies, his wife and daughter in special places of honor, and the cast, all of whom are performing the play in the asylum's bath house, are separated from the audience by prison bars. The play is a retelling of a period in the French Revolution culminating with the assassination exactly fifteen years earlier of revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat by peasant girl, Charlotte Corday. The play is to answer whether Marat was a friend or foe to the people of France. ... Written by
The October 30, 2005 edition of the comic strip "Frank and Ernest" started with Frank saying that the printing press was down and they would have to do all the posters for the Bijoux's double bill by hand. Frank, of course, assigned himself the poster for M (1931), and assigned Ernest the poster for "Marat/Sade," with the full title written out. See more »
The opening credits - the play's title, stage credits and the actors appearing in the film - pop on the screen, one word at a time, until it is filled. The closing credits - the film's production staff - start off with a full screen of words; they then pop off the screen, one word at a time, until it is completely empty...just as it was when the film began. See more »
When Marat/Sade was first shown--those of us used to the traditional Hollywood film entertainments were just stunned. What a tour de force of acting, story, makeup, style, filming and music. We didn't know what to make of it. On the one hand it was the scariest, most disturbing film we had seen, on the other
hand it was a grand entertainment with absolutely intriguing characters. Was it historically accurate? Is it a dream? Was that really supposed to be the
Marquis de Sade up on the screen? The film has amazing bookends: The
opening film credits appearing in complete silence one word at a time and then disappearing one word at a time, has to be sort of a classic of film titles-- anticipating the minimalist art movements in the visual arts. Before the film even begins, we are off kilter, completely disoriented. The horrifying ending at the time was a shocker. One is really unprepared for this spectacular brutality--and the fact that it just ends in the midst of the chaos with zero resolution again is totally disorienting. This remains a great film--with some of the most amazing acting ever caught on screen. For most of us here in the U.S., it was the first time we saw Glenda Jackson. Her voice, her presence, her amazing acting
technique--she became instantaneously recognized as one of the great screen
actresses. And sure enough shortly thereafter, she won her two academy
awards. If you enjoy great theatre, and great film treatments of theatrical
material--this film is simply not to be missed.
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