Tara's Quills & Marat/Sade Page
This page highlights two stage plays that have been made into films which both have different "takes" on the same subject matter: The incarceration of the Marquis de Sade in an insane asylum during the latter part of his life.
, the play by
An interestingly grim fairytale, with a violent, yet wickedly funny twist, this is my favorite film for 2000. While having excellent design and directing, the two strongest features are the screenplay (also by Doug Wright), and the actors' performances. To give you a taste of both, I recommend seeing the clip to see how beautifully the film combines plot, humor and character development.
From the opening scene, where a beautiful guillotine victim appears to be finding a kinky arousal in the process of her execution, to the last, where a saintly young priest is seen madly scribbling a pornographic tale to alleviate his insanity, the whole film has a naughty, funny tinge, that makes it enjoyably to watch, despite all one's favorite characters ending badly.
The film Script also by Doug Wright is markedly different from the play, concentrating a great deal on the most likeable and sane character, Madeline, played by the estimable Kate Winslet. The Marquis de Sade, as played by Geoffrey Rush, is like the original Marquis, selfish, spoiled, lewd, rude, and insulting, yet somehow manages to, (as the original was said to) be curiously lovable and charming. Rush, it should be noted, does this while being physically as unlike the original as possible, Sade was in his 70's and a bit pudgy, Rush is 49 and bony. His lack of physical resemblance however doesn't come close to matching Joaquin Phoenix's for the role of Abbe Coulmier. Coulmier was a 4 foot tall dwarf.
About The Play and Playwright : Notes on Quills the play by author, Doug Wright
Quills eGroup: Discussions of the movie Quills and Sadomasochism.
Kisses a great web site devoted to the film and all related topics
Quills at the Wilma Theatre : Philadelphia premier of the play
18th Century Costume Flicks : Reviews of 18th Century Costume Films
Geoffrey Rush Interview : Talks about filming Quills
Geoffrey Rush Online : Fan site for the actor portraying de Sade in Quills
Official Movie Site for Quills US version of the official movie site
Quills News :Quills page on the "Discover Kate" fansite
Quills film Soundtrack Album : Amazon page for the soundtrack album, with audio samples.
The Geoffrey Rush Corner : Another fan site for actor Geoffrey Rush. Nice Photo section.
Quills (2000) Photos copyright Fox/Searchlight Productions:
(Yes, I know the delectable is in this film too, but his clothes aren't terribly interesting, and this page is part of a
is the shortened title of the playThe
Persecution and Assassination of Jean Paul Marat as performed by the Inmates of the Asylum at Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis
de Sade by
This German play is, as the title implies, entirely a play-within-a-play where most cast members depict both a character from the French Revolution as well as an insane asylum inmate playing that character.
This play, while it also addresses censorship, is primarily concernedwith a debate between Marat as a sort of representative ofrevolutionary radical communism, and de Sade as a kind of nihilisticexistentialist frustrated with his own, and society's violently cruelurges, as well as the futility of revolutionary action to improvemankind. Despite this very heavy and multi-layered topic, the filmedproduction of the play (below) also manages to be both sexy and funny inregular intervals.
costumes for a production of the play in 1989 at Theatre UAF. It is one of my all-time favorite plays because of the sheer density of meaning in it. The play is set in the asylum in 1808 in the Napoleonic era, and the play within it is set in 1793 during the Revolutionary era. Most of the dialogue has relevance to political criticism in both eras. If that were not enough, it also has levels that are clearly evoking the era that Weiss was writing in (the 1960's) and also Germany's recent (Holocaust/WWII) past. Some passages in the play, most notably those relating to war, manage to have a level of meaning for ALL FOUR eras at once!
Add to this the delightful theatricality and musical numbers (really) of the play, and it is little wonder that it has regularly been performed around the world ever since it was written.
As a footnote, Geoffrey Rush, who plays the Marquis de Sade in the film of Quills, incidentally played Jean-Paul Marat, in an Australian stage production of Marat/Sade some time ago.
Marat Sade The Film
of the Royal Shakespeare Company production of Marat/Sade (1967) is considered a classic avant garde
1960's drama in the style known as "Theatre of Cruelty". It is often shown to university level theatre classes because it has wonderful examples of both Artaud and Brecht theatre styles in it. I show it to my classes and it never fails to blow their undergraduate minds. It stars Glenda Jackson as Charlotte Corday (now
Dame Glenda Jackson, MP), Ian Richardson (of "House of Cards" fame) as
Marat, and Patrick Magee as de Sade.
Great moments include a comic "orgy" scene where the inmates sing
"What's the point of a revolution without general copulation?" in a
round like "row-row-row your boat" and mime a vigorously improbablegroup sex event fully clothed, Magee's various speeches on the natureof man: "What we do, is but a shadow of what we want to do...",Richardson's unblinking intensity as he waits for the knife to killhim, and Jackson, doing a little dance trying to capture the knife
from de Sade while he teases her with it in an effort to get her in
"Marat/Sade" DVD at Amazon.com :Amazon entry for "Marat/Sade" DVD
"Marat/Sade" Video at Amazon com :Amazon entry for "Marat/Sade" video
"Marat/Sade" at Theatre UAF :Costume photos of a production of the play in Alaska
Ari Zonshine, Recent Projects :Photos and downloadable music for a new musical score/production of Marat/Sade
Marat Sade Scene Designs :Another page of scene design photos for a production of Marat/Sade
Marat/Sade & other plays by Peter Weiss :Amazon com entry for playscript
Marat/Sade Script :Amazon UK entry for the playscript
Marat/Sade and US :Amazon com entry for soundtrack of Marat/Sade and another play: US. Includes sound clips from the songs.
Marat/Sade at the Berliner Ensemble :A production history of the play in Germany, from the World Socialist Website.
Peter Weiss :Information on the German playwright, Peter Weiss, author of Marat/Sade
William Temple Davis Scene Design: Marat/Sade :Great photos of Virginia Commonwealth University production of Marat/Sade
Marquis de Sade Links:
Books and Writers: de Sade : Brief bio and list of works of de Sade. A good introduction to the question, "...who was the..."
Conde Mansion : Detailed chronological biography of de Sade, plus quotes page.
La Coste; The Castle of Marquis de Sade : About de Sade's family home.
The History of Fashion and Dress: The French Revolution and Empire
Concise overview of fashion from 1789-1825
The Marquis de Sade a Life : Web page promoting a book on the life of de Sade
The Bad Rapping of the Marquis de Sade : Lyrics to a very naughty Beatnik type song on the Marquis, written in 1959
The Crime Library: The Marquis de Sade : Fictionalized story of the Marquis' crimes, arrests, etc. in light, well written prose.
The Marquis de Sade Award for sadism in psychiatry : Who is crazier, the "patients" or the "doctors"?
Dialogue Between a Priest and a Dying Man (1782) : Online text
Oeuvres du Marquis de Sade : Online texts of his works in the original French
The One Hundred And Twenty Days Of Sodom : Complete work, online, in English translation.
de Sade in the 20th Century : Links to 20th Century criticism, film and fiction on de Sade
Links on Jean Paul
The French Revolution
Links on the new French film "
Links on other
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