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War Requiem (1989)

Not Rated | | Drama, War | 6 January 1989 (UK)
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 »

Director:

Derek Jarman

Writer:

Derek Jarman
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nathaniel Parker ... Wilfred Owen
Tilda Swinton ... The Nurse
Laurence Olivier ... The Old Soldier
Patricia Hayes Patricia Hayes ... Mother
Rohan McCullough Rohan McCullough ... Enemy Mother
Nigel Terry ... Abraham
Owen Teale ... The Unknown Soldier
Sean Bean ... The German Soldier
Alex Jennings ... Blinded Soldier
Claire Davenport Claire Davenport ... Charge Sister / Britannia
Spencer Leigh Spencer Leigh ... Soldier 1
Milo Bell Milo Bell ... Soldier 2
Richard Stirling Richard Stirling ... Soldier 3
Kim Kindersley Kim Kindersley ... Soldier 4
Stuart Turton Stuart Turton ... Soldier 5
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Storyline

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 <mdrc@hp9000a1.uam.mx>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 January 1989 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Sota requiem See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR (as spectral recording Dolby Stereo SR in selected theatres)

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was Laurence Olivier's final acting role before his death on July 11, 1989 at the age of 82. See more »

Soundtracks

War Requiem, Op. 66
Composed and conducted by Benjamin Britten
Based on poems by Wilfred Owen
Soloists: Galina Vishnevskaya, Peter Pears and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau with The Bach Choir, The London Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Highgate School Choir
Music played by The Melos Ensemble of London and The London Symphony Orchestra
Organist: Simon Preston
Original recording courtesy of The Decca Record Company Limited, England, Catalogue No. 414 383-2
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User Reviews

 
Powerful, lyrical visual poem
25 April 2002 | by carlexSee all my reviews

War Requiem is a vital film in Derek Jarman's filmography; seemingly handcuffed by a score with which he could not play around at all, Jarman could not work his sonic wizardry with his usual collaborator Simon Fisher Turner, or any others. However, here Jarman fused many of his passions and obsessions into one of his most personal statements: working with favorite actors, especially the intense and beautiful Tilda Swinton; using the shimmering, glorious Super 8 of home and play; collaging and staging and digging up artifacts to reposition and reexamine them; and composing image and cuts like a composer working on a new symphony. Dziga Vertov and Dovzhenko may have been working in this vein this decades ago, but if Jarman gives it a try today, the comparisons are to "music video"; naturally, no one is really paying attention if they're making comments like this. The intent and effect of works such as War Requiem (or The Last of England and The Garden) are virtually an antithesis of the shallow, splashy, and seizure-ridden style and pace of MTV and company. Jarman has advanced his uniquely cinematic aesthetic - somewhere between the work of a symphonic composer and a painter, working with light and celluloid instead of oils - in this work that treads a tightrope between narrative and poetic verse. So many sequences of this film are powerful and gutsy and utterly moving: the montage of war footage, building in rhythm and intensity with Britten's score; the tear-inducing shot of Tilda swaying to the music; the nurses playing "Blind Man¹s Bluff"; the smoke and flowers. Derek crafted one of his most hearfelt, original, and spontaneously lyrical movies in War Requiem; now it only needs a top-notch release on DVD.


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