Edward II (1991)

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Edward II: Directed by Derek Jarman. With Steven Waddington, Kevin Collins, Andrew Tiernan, John Lynch. In this Derek Jarman version of Christopher Marlowe’s Elizabethan drama, in modern costumes and settings, Plantagenet king Edward II hands the power-craving nobility the perfect excuse by taking as lover besides his diplomatic wife, the French princess Isabel, not an acceptable lady at court but the ambitious Piers Gaveston, who uses his favor in bed even to wield political influence – the stage is set for a palace revolt which sends the gay pair from the throne to a terminal torture dungeon.

“Edward II makes a brilliant hodge-podge of history by vaulting a sixteenth century play about a fourteenth century English king onto a dark, abstract twentieth century stage. Iconoclastic, yes; anachronistic, yes; imbecilic, no. While on the page Marloweu0026#39;s poetry speaks for itself, in director Derek Jarmanu0026#39;s hands it provides a counterpoint to the filmu0026#39;s daring, elegant, eloquent visuals. King Edward and his lover, Piers Gaveston, are attacked by the raving heteronormative toffs for their homosexuality and Gavestonu0026#39;s less-than-aristocratic background. Great moments include a cameo by Annie Lennox and a bullu0026#39;s-eye by Tilda Swinton.”


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