DVD War Requiem [DVD] [738329062125] (DVD 1368578),
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War Requiem [DVD] [738329062125]

  • NR
  • DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • Director Derek Jarman's WAR REQUIEM is a cinematic visualization of Benjamin Britten's celebrated oratorio that features live action and documentary footage from wars of the 20th century. Jarman employs his trademark painterly and non-narrative style to visually explore the requiem that was based on the poetry of Wilfred Owen, a soldier poet who was killed at the very end of WWI. Owen's experience is told from the perspective of an elderly soldier (Laurence Olivier in his last screen appearance) as he remembers the horror of battle.

    Jarman, whose roots lie in music video direction--for bands such as the Smiths and the Pet Shop Boys--once again combines music and experimental film techniques with a daring and skillful hand, attacking the screen with a rhythmic onslaught of images that matches the emotional pitch of the requiem, culminating in the director's trademark bombed-out postapocalyptic landscapes. Jarman creates a visual pastiche, overlaying horrific visions of death with hand-painted stills and collages with actual footage that explode with raw and unbridled intensity. Ultimately, Jarman meditates on the tragedy of war and the untimely death of youth, which becomes a metaphor for the contemporary war on AIDS, the disease that took the filmmaker's own life in 1994. The film features Britten's music performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, the Melos Ensemble, and the Bach Choir.
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  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 6212

  • Credits
    Laurence Olivier, Laurence Olivier, Laurence Olivier, Tilda Swinton, Nathaniel Parker, Owen Teale, Sean Bean
  • Critic Reviews
    "...WAR REQUIEM, with its firm imposition of formal structures and disciplines, is among the best things [Jarman] has ever done..."
    Sight and Sound

    "...As well as being a stunning visual and serious music treat, WAR REQUIEM is probably avant garde British director Derek Jarman's most mature effort..."
    Variety

    "...A remarkably evocative and powerful film..."
    Los Angeles Times

    3 stars out of 5 -- "Brit experimentalist Derek Jarman's ode to the casualties of war is set to composer Benjamin Britten's powerful orchestral requiem..."
    Total Film

    4 stars out of 5 -- "Notable for showcasing Laurence Olivier's last cinematic performance, it is also a remarkably complex examination of war..."
    Empire

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