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 ...
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Anna Maria Monticelli,
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 taking as lover besides his diplomatic wife, the French princess Isabel, not an acceptable lady at court but the ambitious Piers Gaveston, who uses his favor in bed even to wield political influence - the stage is set for a palace revolt which sends the gay pair from the throne to a terminal torture dungeon.Written by
Edward II makes a brilliant hodge-podge of history by vaulting a sixteenth century play about a fourteenth century English king onto a dark, abstract twentieth century stage. Iconoclastic, yes; anachronistic, yes; imbecilic, no. While on the page Marlowe's poetry speaks for itself, in director Derek Jarman's hands it provides a counterpoint to the film's daring, elegant, eloquent visuals. King Edward and his lover, Piers Gaveston, are attacked by the raving heteronormative toffs for their homosexuality and Gaveston's less-than-aristocratic background. Great moments include a cameo by Annie Lennox and a bull's-eye by Tilda Swinton.
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