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'Unraveling Quills'
A Behind the Scenes look at the filming of 'Quills'

Many thanks to Mylene for sending me a video tape of the program!  I have done a transcript and taken a few screen captures. I am posting the material on several pages, to shorten the download time.


[Voice of Sade] To My Beloved Reader: Prepare yourself for the most impure tale ever to spring from the mind of man.
Narrator: At the end of the 18th century, on the cusp of the French Revolution, a man considered an extreme danger to society was locked in an insane asylum for most of his adult life.


[Madeleine accepts a manuscript through the door of Sade's cell] Careful, the ink's still wet.

Those in power discovered they could imprison the man, but not his imagination.
[Sade on table, modeling his latest creation] My writing's live!

The Marquis de Sade has been called everything from 'genius' to 'pornographer'…
[Abbe de Coulmier counseling Sade] Take your pen in hand, Marquis, and purge these wicked thoughts of yours on paper.
…'artist' to 'murderer'…
[Dr. Royer-Collard consulting with the abbe] I understand he practices the very crimes he preaches in his fiction.
He has been reviled,
[Madeleine defending Sade to a coworker] He's a writer, not a madman. [Coworker] What's he doing in here, then?
Celebrated,
[Sade takes a bow as he is introduced to the asylum theater audience] The Marquis de Sade!
Feared,
[Royer-Collard to Abbe] Silence the Marquis, or Charenton will be shut down by order of the Emperor.


And even loved.
[Madeleine, inspecting Sade's latest work] You're a genius!

[Sade] Yes!


Some believed his words could incite violence and chaos. Others felt his stories were their saving grace.

[Madeleine explains the impact of  Sade's works to the Abbe, as her wounds after being whipped are treated] I put myself in his stories. If I wasn't such a bad woman on the page, I couldn't be such a good woman in life.


Some wanted him executed.
[Napoleon, after having listened to a passage from Justine] As for the author, shoot him.
Others thought he could be reformed.
[Royer-Collard, on his 'water torture treatment'] A few more months of this, and he'll be fine.
And one was dedicated to saving his soul.
[Abbe confronts Sade] What in God's name am I to do with you?! The more I forbid, the more you're provoked!
Explore with us the artistry that brings the notorious Marquis de Sade to life here at the pages of his lascivious novels, and step onto the stages of Shepperton studios in London as we unravel the making of 'Quills'.

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