Underground Movie / EDWARD II
EDWARD II 1991
Directed by Derek Jarman
This film is a very loose adaption of Christopher Marlowe's Elizabethan drama, and like everything director Derek Jarman did, he approaches his subject like a painter. Any material that Jarman got in his hands, whether it was a paint brush of a script, wasn't treated as a limitation but as an inspiration. He always rejected mimicry and 'accepted norms'. For example, he has no hesitation in taking a 16th century poetry-play and throwing in Eurythmics singer Annie Lennox. So it's clear this is not a literal adaption, but a surreal one that involves interpretation and insight.
The story revolves around 14th century King Edward II whose careless behavior starts causing problems, but when he takes on a gay lover, schemes are hatched and the king is dragged from the throne into a dungeon. Tilda Swinton plays the scorned Queen Isabella, and it was this cold-blooded performance that kick-started her career to international fame. The entire production is one of imagination, as it teeters between mannerism and the breaking of traditional film techniques. Similar to Pasolini, Derek Jarman is able to create bridges, and with this text he draws parallels to the modern world - for example, about consumerism, our culture of war, and gay rights. But beneath all the painterly details and the beautiful striped-down decors, there is also a rage under the surface. Brooding, elegant, iconoclastic, eccentric, fiery, visionary.
This will be a high-definition screening.