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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Young nobleman Orlando is commanded by Queen Elizabeth I to stay forever young. Miraculously, he does just that. The film follows him as he moves through several centuries of British ... See full summary »
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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 »
Paul and Eddie have just begun previews for the new Off-Broadway musical "Adam and Steve Just the Way God Made 'Em." Their lives strangely mirror the characters they are playing. Paul is ... 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 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
The film very much abridges the end of Marlowe's play: Prince Edward is shown dancing on top of a cage with Isabella and Mortimer inside it. In real life, after his father's death Edward III had his mother and her lover arrested, executing Mortimer (in Marlowe's play this happens instantly, whereas historically the king waited four years). See more »
My father is deceased. Come Gaveston, and share the kingdom with thy dearest friend.
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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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