Skip to main content

EDWARD II

UK, 1991 (MIFF 1992)

Director: Derek Jarman

Anyone who has followed with interest the films of Derek Jarman will find cause for dehght m Edward II It seems to be the culmina­tion of everything the bold British director has been toying with on screen over the last 17 years, since his debut with Sebastiane in 1975.

This Edward is an invigorating adaptation of Christopher Marlowe's classic 16th-century play, trimmed to the bone but only marginally altered. Newly crowned as King of England, the youthful Edward II bestows gifts, titles and all his devotion upon his lover Piers Gaveston In neglecting his wife (played by the ever-luminous Tilda Swanton) and his responsibili­ties as King, Edward makes enemies of the nobles and churchmen who surround him, and his fall from power is sudden and complete.

Only the context has changed, almost beyond recognition Costumes are anachronis­tic, with Mortimer clad m modern military uni­form, the nobles power-dressing m business suits and Queen Isabella attired like some vision from the pages of high fashion Jarman transforms Edward's supporters into gay activists carrying placards and fighting with not police Ifs not difficult to see that his artis­tic choices are designed to cement modem par­allels

Angry, passionate, amusing, urgent and often strikingly beautiful, successfully walking a tightrope between Euro art film and the avant garde, Edward II is a triumph.



see also: The Party-Nature Morte

See also...

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 »

BLUE

Challenging British director Derek Jarman's final major work has been compared in visual execution to Warhol's Sleep and Empire State. Where it outstrips them both is in the meticulously crafted and ... 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director