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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

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