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Edward II ()

directed by
featuring Steven Waddington, Andrew Tiernan, Tilda Swinton, Nigel Terry, Kevin Collins

Two years before director Derek Jarman died of AIDS, he directed this extremely ambitious variation on Christopher Marlowe's 16th-century play. While Marlowe is the root of this film, Jarman has taken a great deal of leeway with the manner of presentation. The story revolves around King Edward's open homosexuality, which eventually led to his murder and succession. Instead of lush historical settings, the film uses bare walls and dirt floors and puts the cast into smart suits. This "staginess" works to the advantage of Jarman's design, and he takes every opportunity to anachronize. (For example, Annie Lennox shows up to provide a lovely rendition of Cole Porter's "Every Time We Say Goodbye".) A striking film, and a high point of Jarman's career. ~ John Voorhees, Rovi Hide synopsis

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