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The Angelic Conversation (1985)

An unseen woman recites Shakespeare's sonnets - fourteen in all - as a man wordlessly seeks his heart's desire. The photography is stop-motion, the music is ethereal, the scenery is often ... See full summary »

Director:

Derek Jarman

Writer:

William Shakespeare (sonnets)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Paul Reynolds Paul Reynolds
Phillip Williamson Phillip Williamson
Judi Dench ... Shakespeare's Sonnets read by (voice)
Dave Baby Dave Baby
Timothy Burke Timothy Burke
Simon Costin Simon Costin
Christopher Hobbs Christopher Hobbs
Philip McDonald Philip McDonald
Toby Mott Toby Mott
Steve Randall Steve Randall
Robert Sharp Robert Sharp
Tony Wood Tony Wood
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Storyline

An unseen woman recites Shakespeare's sonnets - fourteen in all - as a man wordlessly seeks his heart's desire. The photography is stop-motion, the music is ethereal, the scenery is often elemental: boulders and smaller rocks, the sea, smoke or fog, and a garden. The man is on an odyssey following his love. But he must first, as the sonnet says, know what conscience is. So, before he can be united with his love, he must purify himself. He does so, bathing a tattooed figure (an angel, perhaps) and humbling himself in front of this being. He also prepares himself with water and through his journey and his meditations. Finally, he is united with his fair friend. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 February 1987 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Angelic Conversation See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£35,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Derek Jarman: Life as Art (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Sea Interludes
from "Peter Grimes"
Music by Benjamin Britten
Libretto by Montagu Slater
Performed by the Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Conducted by Colin Davis
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User Reviews

 
Jarman said that this might be his best.
3 April 2004 | by Havan_IronOakSee all my reviews

This film is the archtypal Jarman movie. Jarman considered himself a painter more than a film maker and thought of the camera as just an improvement on the brushes of the past. In this film he carries those concepts through to their fullest conclusion.

The moody Voice-overs of Shakespeare sonnets by Dame Judy Dench add to the multi-layered portraits of two young men and their relationship. Jarman was going for a mood here and the narrative line is pretty sketchy but if you ever wondered what would happen if one of those Calvin Klein Obsession adverts were stretched to 80 minutes by a really talented film maker then this is the film for you.

Without a strong narrative line this film may move too slowly for many and you are hereby cautioned. There were several folks noticeably snoring during the screening that I attended but those that are Jarman fans would not miss it.

It also occurred to me that given the very light story line that this might be a great background film to have playing amid a gathering of friends where the entire focus of the group was not on the film.


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