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 ...
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Queen Elisabeth I travels 400 years into the future to witness the appalling revelation of a dystopian London overrun by corruption and a vicious gang of punk guerrilla girls led by the new Monarch of Punk.
A dramatization, in modern theatrical style, of the life and thought of the Viennese-born, Cambridge-educated philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), whose principal interest was the ... See full summary »
A nearly wordless visual narrative intercuts two main stories and a couple of minor ones. A woman, perhaps the Madonna, brings forth her baby to a crowd of intrusive paparazzi; she tries to... See full summary »
In this Derek Jarman version of Christopher Marlowe's Elizabethan drama, in modern costumes and settings, Plantagenet king Edward II hands the power-craving nobility the perfect excuse by ... See full summary »
Against a plain, unchanging blue screen, a densely interwoven soundtrack of voices, sound effects and music attempt to convey a portrait of Derek Jarman's experiences with AIDS, both ... See full summary »
A movie with no spoken dialogue, it is set against the music and lyrics of Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem" which includes poetry by World War I soldier Wilfred Owen reflecting the horrors ... See full summary »
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
Derek Jarman is a brilliant filmmaker, and along with Peter Greenaway, probably the most important British filmmaker of the Post WW2 era.
The Angelic Conversation, while a quality work of extraordinary textural richness, isn't Jarman's best. The problem here lies partially in the editing. It's far too aesthetically disjointed and the optical effects seem cheap and reaching. Maybe it's because a million so-called experimental filmmakers have achieved similar results to a much less pointed effect. That kind of copying unfortunately makes this film seem tired, though the soundtrack and script are spectacular.
It is also Jarman's most personal film aside from perhaps, Blue. This is unfortunate, because Jarman has always been most effective when he looks outward. Sebastione, for instance, was a brilliant historical film that literally transports you back in time and The Garden was a scathing political portrait of fin de siecle England under Thatcher. See those before you watch this, but all Jarman is interesting. Coil fans will also appreciate their contribution to this film.
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