Τετάρτη, 25 Αυγούστου 2010

DEREK JARMAN - EDWARD II (1991).

Edward II.
Directed by Derek Jarman
Produced by Steve Clark-Hall & Antony Root
Written by Ken Butler & Derek Jarman
Starring: Steven Waddington, Tilda Swinton, Andrew Tiernan, Dudley Sutton
Music by Simon Fisher Turner
Cinematography Ian Wilson
Editing by Geroge Akers
Running time 90 minutes
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Edward II is a 1991 film directed by Derek Jarman, starring Steven Waddington, Tilda Swinton and Andrew Tiernan. It is based on the eponymous play by Christopher Marlowe. The plot revolves around Edward II of England's infatuation with Piers Gaveston, which proves to be the downfall of both of them, thanks to the machinations of Mortimer.
The film is staged in a postmodern style, using a mixture of contemporary and medieval props, sets and clothing. (The date "1991" appears on a royal proclamation at one point.) The gay content of the play is also brought to the fore by Jarman, notably by adding a homosexual sex scene and by depicting Edward's army as gay rights protesters.
Once installed as king, Edward II summons his friend and lover, Piers Gaveston, to his side and showers him with gifts, titles and abiding love. Their relationship is fiery and passionate, but it is the cause of hate from everybody else. Upon his return, Gaveston takes revenge on the Bishop of Winchester who had been responsible for his banishment from England during the previous reign, he personally tortures him. Kent, Edwards’s brother, is the first to protest Gaveston return. Many others feel the same way including the Bishop of Winchester and Lord Mortimer, who is in charge of the army forces of the kingdom. However Edward II defends his lover from his mounting enemies.
Interested in his pleasure and his relationship with Gaveston, Edward is quite distracted from affairs of state, much to the distress and anger of the court (somber men and women in business suits). Instead of governing Edward II is always off taking another tumble with Gaveston. Queen Isabella, Edward’s French wife, vainly tries everything to win him back from his lover, but she is mercilessly rejected by her husband. Love starved, Isabella’s cold exterior conceals a consuming sexual hunger. Gaveston inflames Isabella’s desire by whispering obscenities in her ear, and then mocks her responsiveness.
The handsome, hedonistic and opportunistic Gaveston repels everyone except the King. His enemies join forces and under threat of being dethroned and expelled from England, Edwards is forced to comply with their wishes and he sends Gaveston away. The lovers' separation is serenaded by Annie Lenox’s singing a rendition of Cole Porter's "Every Time We Say Goodbye".
The queen's hopes, that once Gaveston is away she could reconcile with her husband, are soon dashed when he rejects her once again. In a last effort to regain her husband's affection she is instrumental in letting Gaveston return. Happily the king and his lover resume their relationship, but their enemies are ready to strike back.
Isabella and Mortimer, who becomes her lover, plan to rule the realm through Edward and Isabella's son the young future Edward III. When Kent tries to save his brother, he is brutally killed by Isabella. The nobles are soon plotting to get rid for good not only of Gaveston but also the king. Mortimer, their leader, is a military man and practicing sadomasochist who takes a grim pleasure in personally torturing Gaveston and the lovers' friend Spencer, whom he addresses as "girl boy." Their torture takes place while there is a clash between the police and members of the English gay-rights organization Outrage.
After Gaveston and Spencer’s assassinations, Edward, who has been thrown in a dungeon, is executed by impalement on a red-hot poker. This hideous fate is presented as a nightmare from which the imprisoned King awakens. The executioner, when he does arrive, tosses away his lethal weapon and kisses the man he was sent to kill.
Back in the castle, Mortimer and Isabella enjoy the triumph just briefly. The King's young son, Edward III, who all along has been neglected by both parents witnessing their quarrels, has donned his mother's earrings and lipstick and while listening classical music on his Walkman headphones, walks atop a cage that imprisons his mother and Mortimer.
part 1.

(part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9)
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