DVD The Last of England [DVD] (DVD 16009398),
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The Last of England [DVD]

  • NR
  • DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • Derek Jarman's apocalyptic view of late-20th-century England, thought by some critics to be a sequel to his postpunk JUBILEE, is an intensely personal piece of cinema that masterfully combines all of the director's trademark sensibilities. In THE LAST OF ENGLAND, Jarman employs arresting images, sparse narration (by Nigel Terry), rock & roll, gay erotica, and his own home movies to create a searing and beautiful survey of 1980s Great Britain, devastated by greed, violence, and environmental disasters. Shot in Super-8, transferred to video for editing, and then blown up to 35mm, the film is carefully controlled by Jarman, who compiles and unleashes the intense color and images on the screen in a nonstop surrealistic torrent. Jarman, a prolific journal writer and painter, creates a world of childlike nostalgia bathed in his own memories and journal entries, mourning for the film's present. Images of punk-rock squatters running wild over an urban wasteland are juxtaposed with sepia-toned sped-up home movies of Jarman as a small child. Diagnosed with AIDS in the mid-1980s, Jarman ruminates on the ever-present concept of death and dying. The film's progression, from childhood innocence and the early days of WWII to raging warfare, terrorism, and rampant homophobia, reflects a bleak version of Jarman's own life. This seminal creation is an elegant and highly original visual masterpiece, featuring music from Marianne Faithfull and Diamanda Galas.
  • Credits
    Rupert Audley,Tilda Swinton,Gerrard McCarthur,John Phillips,Papa,John Phillips,Spencer Leigh
  • Critic Reviews
    "...Bleak vitality....Offer[s] a haunting vision of this plague and its ravages..."
    New York Times

    "...[Jarman's] blown-up Super-8 images have a fitful spectral grandeur..."
    Film Comment

    "[W]onderfully inventive..."
    Sight and Sound

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