Chinese Version


Edward II (UK)


Gay lover's story


Director: Derek Jarman

Cast: Steven Waddington  Andrew Tiernan  Tilda Swinton

Footage: 91min

Year: 1991 

To describe Edward II as “high concept” doesn't even begin to nail down its complexity. Jarman reworks Christopher Marlowe's 16th century play in terms of modern sexual politics.

The story revolves around King Edward's open homosexuality. Instead of lush historical settings, the film uses bare walls and dirt floors and puts the cast into smart suits. Jarman has taken all the latent homosexual subtext in Marlowe's original and brought it front and center -- and then some. Using Marlowe's original dialogue, Jarman has blended this theatrical story with contemporary depictions of homophobic repression and gay activism. There is no one period in which this drama is set and, most of the time, there are several eras represented at once. 


The Brutal Politics of Desire: Derek Jarman's Edward II

Films by Derek Jarman

Jim's Film Reviews/Jarman

Works of the same director:

The Tempest

The Last of England

Garden of Luxor


Art of Mirrors




The Garden


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