Directed by: Derek Jarman
Countries & Regions: United Kingdom
Studio: Second Sight
Length: 87 mins
Region: Region 2
Released: 1 March 2010
Cat No: 2NDVD3172
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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
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.