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THE LAST OF ENGLAND

UK, 1987 (MIFF 1988)

Director: Derek Jarman

Shot during the summer and autumn of "last year", this mesmerising trip into contemporary Britain's apocalyptic non future presents what is possibly filmmaker Jarman's most personal film to date. It's as if the post-punk social critique of Jubilee and The Dream Machine has dynamically intermingled with the neo classical homo-eroticism of Sebastiane and Caravaggio to provide an intensely felt auto-portrait and densely suggestive political allegory. The resulting synthesis of moods (paranoia, melancholy, irony, rage) and modes (doco footage, 16 millimetrage, video, plus "imagined sections of a feature film") will be loved, or loathed, or both. Like most Jarmania, The Last of England cannot be ignored.

The images are striking, and true to the spirit of doom-laden Distopias, strangely intoxicating. Futuristic Thatcherland looks utterly desolate, shell-shocked, in crumbling ruins. The cosy comforts of another time and another place (Jarman's childhood, in fact, resurrected through home movies shot by his father) are counterpointed with grim contingents of Fascistic militia lining up the usual (innocent) suspects.

"It's nearer to poetry than to prose. There are a lot of young people who have grown up with sound and image and they operate so fast they can't bear the old films. They are the people who will be able to see The Last of England and I hope not be disappointed...”

"In Jubilee the past dreamed the future present. The Last of England is in the same form, though this time I have put myself into the centre of the picture "

"Here the present dreams the past future ' - Derek Jarman

See also...

The Queen is Dead

A new music film from virtuoso director Derek Jarman. ... More »

THE GARDEN

Like all of writer-director Derek Jarman's previous films, The Garden is an innovative and controversial piece of work; provocative, sensual, and highly original in its play of image and sound. ... More »

WITTGENSTEIN

Jarman has once again created a lush and visually stunning canvas, that explores the life and key ideologies of one of this century's most influential philosophers, Ludwig Wittgenstein. This latest ... More »

IN THE SHADOW OF THE SUN

Set designer, art director and maker of the highly successful Sebastiane. Jubilee and The Tempest. Derek Jarman has recently returned to Super 8 to produce his new films. Using a combination of old ... More »

THE ANGELIC CONVERSATION

Derek Jarman is best known in Australia for his more "mainstream" features (Sebastiane, Jubilee, and The Tempest) and as production designer on Ken Russell's Savage Messiah and The Devils. He has ... More »

T.G. Psychic Rally in Heaven

T. G. Psychic Rally in Heaven marries abstract images of a performance by Throbbing Gristle with the ferocity and intensity of their music to brilliant effect on both eyes and ears. ... More »

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