A film with no spoken dialogue, just follows the music and lyrics of Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem, which include WWI soldier poet Wilfred Owen's poems reflecting the war's horrors. It ... See full summary »
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A film with no spoken dialogue, just follows the music and lyrics of Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem, which include WWI soldier poet Wilfred Owen's poems reflecting the war's horrors. It shows the story of an Englishman soldier (Wilfred Owen) and a nurse (his bride) during World War I. It also includes actual footage of contemporary wars (WWII, Vietnam, Angola, etc.) Written by
Michel Rudoy <email@example.com>
I was watching War Requiem which is Derek Jarman's conception of images of the music of Benjamin Britten and the poetry of Wilfrid Owen and I thought this was a work better left to the imagination. Beautiful, but something I might imagine hearing it would be a lot different.
Newsreel footage of World War I and more contemporary conflicts are mixed in with live pantomime like performances of various players and singers including Laurence Olivier in his farewell performance. Olivier plays a wheelchair bound veteran of World War I in whose eyes all the images are seen.
Benjamin Britten's War Requiem was originally composed for the dedication of the new cathedral in Coventry, the old one as well as the town itself pretty much blasted to smithereens by Hitler's Luftwaffe. The words are by Wilfrid Owen, the various verses he wrote are put to Britten's music. Owen was killed almost exactly a week before the Armistice was signed in 1918. Oddly enough both men were as one British friend of mine puts it, 'as gay as green shoes'.
This is Jarman's vision, not necessarily mine, not necessarily your's. I think that art like this is best left to the individual imagination. But Jarman does a vision of terrible beauty as W.B. Yeats put it.
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