Edward II View large image
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Film Details

Directed by: Derek Jarman

Produced: 1991

Countries & Regions: United Kingdom

DVD Details

Certificate: 15

Studio: Second Sight

Length: 87 mins

Format: DVD

Region: Region 2

Released: 1 March 2010

Cat No: 2NDVD3172

Extras:
Languages(s): English
Interactive Menu
Scene Access

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Edward II

Cast: Dudley Sutton , Tilda Swinton , John Lynch , Nigel Terry , Jerome Flynn , Andrew Tiernan , Steven Waddington , Kevin Collins , Roger Hammond , Jody Graber

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In Derek Jarman’s version of Marlowe’s play, the Court of Edward II is divided in loyalty over the King (Steven Waddington)’s homosexual... Read More

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In Derek Jarman’s version of Marlowe’s play, the Court of Edward II is divided in loyalty over the King (Steven Waddington)’s homosexual affair with Piers Gaveston (Andrew Tiernan). Performed in modern dress, the film touches on several contemporary issues, AIDS among them.

Jarman's provocative, contemporary dress adaptation of Marlowe's play is a majestic blend of visual audacity, political relevance and raw sexual energy, which wrests from the original work a lean, pulsating narrative of power, repression and jealousy.

At the centre of the dramatic conflict is the lowly-born Gaveston (Andrew Tierman), a wanton effete whose hold upon the King's (Steven Waddington) affections agitates the nobles and humiliates the Queen (Tilda Swinton). The resulting persecution of Edward and Gaveston by their opponents is creatively re-imagined by Jarman as a modern-day disavowal of homosexual love, a bold re-vision which culminates in a violent clash between the police and members of the gay rights organisation, OutRage.

Confrontational images such as these suffuse the canvas of Edward II with a political and sexual bravery that sit in happy rapport with its formal daring. More a succession of shadowy, minimalist tableaux than a continuous narrative, Jarman exploits this freedom to integrate contemporary dance and song with the dominant action - and to indisputably stunning effect.

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