User Reviews (42)

  • Graham Greene8 April 2008
    History, theology and science fiction backed by screaming polemic and ferocious intent
    Derek Jarman's Jubilee (1977) is a bleak work of ferocious vision and bold satirical intent, far removed from the director's more intellectual or painterly works, such as Caravaggio (1986), War Requiem (1989), Edward II (1991) and Wittgenstein (1993). It could also be seen as something of a precursor to the visceral aggression and cultural desolation presented in his later project, The Last of England (1987), which presented a similar sense of outrage and impressionist image-weaving, albeit, without the broader strokes of character. With this film, Jarman mixes his own social and political ideologies with the ideas at the forefront of punk; taking both the sense of liberation and the dangerous sense of apathy and aggression presented in both the style and the attitude of that particular era, and applying it to a story that involves elements of history, theology and science fiction.

    With the juxtaposition of ideas, Jarman presents us with the alarming vision of England in decline; seeing the present by way of the past, and further depicting a dystopian future very much reminiscent of our own. The story is given a further ironic twist by presenting the image of Queen Elisabeth I as she journeys to the future of late 70's Britain on the eve of the Silver Jubilee, and finds a world in which punk terrorists have taken over the streets, rampaging through shopping centres, looting houses and generally giving a grubby two-fingered salute to anyone courageous enough to represents the mindless masses or the ultra chic bourgeoisie. Certainly, with these factors in mind, Jubilee is not an easy film to appreciate on any level, with the brutality of the imagery and the shocking vulgarity of the world as it is presented being incredibly bleak and incredibly prescient; whilst the visualisation of the film is brash, jarring, clearly exploitative and generally rough around the edges.

    The film wallows in sordidness for the first half-hour, as we watch characters wandering through a sadistic wasteland engaging in sex, violence and murder. However, this limited description might lead certain audiences to expect a gritty action film that presents violence as entertainment and coolly ironic characters akin to Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (1971) and Walter Hill's The Warriors (1979), in which street violence and dystopia are presented as chin-scratching entertainment. Jubilee makes no attempt to entertain the audience on a conventional level, instead offering a serious statement of intent. If you want to enjoy Jubilee, or any of Jarman's work, you must do so on his terms, not on your own. To call it a punk film is misleading too. Here, the appropriation of the punk ethos seems satirical, rather than genuine. Obviously Jarman wasn't a punk and wasn't even of the generation, but he clearly saw something within the scene, again, be it in the liberating freedom that punk could offer, or in the apathy and aggression that came as a direct result of the political climate of the time.

    In fact, the film seems purposely stylised to conform to the fashion of the punk rock-status quo in an almost ironic manner that stresses the director's cynical, satirical intent. The cast for example reads like the veritable who's who of seventies cult, with characters Lindsay Kemp, Jenny Runacre, Little Nell, Wayne Country, Richard O'Brien, Jordan, Toyah and Adam Ant all popping up to deliver disarming performances; part pantomime/part existential theatre. The second half of the film wanders slightly; there are examinations on sexuality, a prolonged attack on the music industry and brutal violence between the punks and police which causes both sides to question the immoral decadence being flaunted in the name of rebellion. There are also musical numbers, political manifestos, agitprop, and screaming polemic as well as an extraordinarily vivid sequences shot on fuzzy 8mm film, featuring Jordan dressed as a ballerina dancing in a junkyard.

    It's one of the most grimly beautiful and evocative images that Jarman ever created; that sense of true tranquil beauty against a vicious, decaying urban wasteland. A moment of quiet reflection within a film of ferocious energy and aggression and yet tinged with a great sense of sadness and theatrical melancholia. It somehow puts the entire film into context, uniting all facets of the film beyond the past present and future and yet still retaining a great sense of nostalgia and reflection. This one seemingly abstract sequences manages to go beyond the merely aesthetic to offer the ultimate visual metaphor of the punk spirit, England in the 70's and Jubilee itself.
  • didi-59 May 2003
    mixed responses
    Jubilee, being a Derek Jarman film, obviously sets out to shock. An assorted set of punks and deviants live together in a garish open plan hell festooned with pictures of Hitler. Mad, an orange haired punkette (Toyah Wilcox, these days much more toned down and almost normal) and Amyl Nitrate (played by the unusual Jordan), a very weird lady who dreams of being a ballerina and talks about Myra Hindley, fight with each other. The regal Bod (Jenny Runacre, very good in this in both roles) doubles as Queen Elizabeth, wandering with her soothsayer John Dee (Richard O'Brien) and emotionless angel Arial, through a Britain tottering on the brink of revolution as the Silver Jubilee hits. Other dotty characters include Viv, an artist, and Angel and Sphinx (Linda Spurrier, Ian Charleson and Karl Johnson, who all went more mainstream than this later in their careers), who seem to do very little. Little Nell plays little whore Crabs, and Adam Ant plays slow-witted Kid, who is adopted by the freaks into their little gang. Cue a lot of raucous music, satirical comment on the media and the establishment, and a fair amount of unpleasant murder. And some plastic petunias. It does have its moments, but as a whole it is a bit of a mess. For visual style and flair it scores highly, but on everything else maybe the jury is still out.
  • lucy-6630 October 2000
    Weird and wonderful
    Jarman uses real people and places. He had an eye for the beauty of gardens planted with plastic flowers, wastelands with grass and daisies waving in the wind, Westminster Cathedral, people like Toyah, Jordan, Helen the dwarf. It's subversive on many levels, being a celebration of bisexuality and fetishism ("This is Chaos, our au pair!"). Jarman himself can be spotted once. I love Jordan's history lessons, read in an immature voice, and the fact that people sound off at length. In some ways the film or even punk itself was a protest against the obliteration or rewriting of history (note Jordan's old-fashioned twinset and pearls). Non-standard people are allowed to be beautiful and sexy - both Jordan and Toyah are pretty overweight. Jordan's obscene rendition of Rule Britannia is a show stopper. Over 20 years later, capitalism is still with us but Derek Jarman sadly is not. xxx
  • zetes17 August 2003
    9/10
    See it on the new Criterion disc
    Difficult to describe, but amazing as hell. Derek Jarman examines the punk aesthetic, with a framing device that Queen Elizabeth I has asked her court magician to show her England's future. And I doubt she likes what she sees, a post-apocalyptic wasteland. The prophecy follows a group of punks who rebel and murder pretty much randomly. The film's likely to disgust many; it lives in much the same world as Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, and, just like that film, we are expected both to revile and have fun with the horrors that are perpetrated on screen. Criticism has been all over on this film, but it's mostly been negative, with a few cultists embracing it. This is the kind of film that I can really love, as I am a kind of pseudo-revolutionary myself. I enjoy observing rebellion in all of its forms, anyway, and I like to think I would like to somehow take part in it. Yes, that could be considered pretentious, but that especially fits in with this film. Jarman was never of like mind with the movement he was depicting, and he himself is emulating what he perceives as punk. And he's partly horrified at what he's observing. I loved watching this movie, in all its simultaneous beauty and ugliness. The documentary included on the Criterion disc, Jubilee: A Time Less Golden, convinced me that the film wasn't only impressive on a primal level. It's one of the best of this kind of documentaries, in that it doesn't at all slavishly tell us how great Jarman or Jubilee is. Instead, it clearly outlines all the contradictions of the artist and the film. Strangely enough, it helps solidify the importance and greatness of the film, while pretty much quashing the many criticisms that have been leveled at it throughout the years. The review of the film at DVD Verdict (www.dvdverdict.com/reviews/jubilee.shtml) was also a big help. Jubilee is definitely a must-see, an outrageous and remarkable cinematic experience. 9/10.
  • squelcho9 September 2005
    9/10
    Simplicity is underrated
    Effortlessly annoying nitpicky artsnobs 28 years on, this film is still achieving its primary aim. It's no more than a fairly precise picture of the sleazy portion of the punk scene in 1977, glued into a sparkly scrapbook for posterity. It's not an attempt to make a great artistic statement about the mythical punk movement so beloved of merchandising vampires. It's an exposition of the low expectations and "up yours" attitude that brought forth the grotty music and trashy DIY fashions in the first place. Dump intellectual baggage, remove head from posterior, and watch it as the fine trashy low budget comedy it is. And be grateful for small mercies. Toyah Wilcox didn't get to sing.
  • AdFin29 December 2001
    Grossly overrated film from Jarman.
    I'm going to be honest right from the start: I've only seen two films from the late Derek Jarman, this and The Last of England (1987). And I must say that neither of them made much of an impression on me. Jubilee tells the disjointed story of Queen Elizabeth I, who bored by her own existence has her court astrologer and an angel invent a time travel devise that will allow her to travel forward to twentieth century Britain. Once again Jarman revels in pointing out the failings in modern British culture, from the violent punk scene that the main characters are part of, to the harsh severity of the music industry and corporate big business. This has no precedence over the plot, because Jubilee has no plot, just a rambling incoherent mish-mash of filth and vulgarity, which Jarman seems to think will help drive his message of a Britain on the brink of self-destruction home. Jubilee is a film that so obviously wanted to be hip it hurts, looking back it seems Jarman took everything that was just about to explode into the public conscious and structured a highly self-indulgent story around it. So we are shown one of the most miss-representative looks at punk one could ever imagine, and a cast that reads like the who's-who of seventies underground celebrities (Richard O Brien rubs shoulders with the likes of a chubby Toyah Wilcox and a pre-fame Adam Ant). Jarman was clearly pandering to his overly inflated ego, after his gay swords and sandals "epic" Sebastiane (1976) was hailed a modern classic. Jubilee is yet another product of art-house cinema gone wrong and film-making in it's most brash and unsubtle form.
  • adam smith13 June 2002
    Caveat-emptor period piece.
    Limit your expectations and be pleasantly surprised. Jubilee is invaluable as a document of anarchic art-school preoccupations in a Britain riven by socialist failure (Thatcher wasn't elected until two years later). Judging by the credits, Jubilee was a creation of faith, hope and goodwill and the cast give it their sometimes amateur all, with entertaining debut appearances from the likes of Jordan, Toyah Wilcox and Adam Ant and proper thesps like Little Nell and Jenny Runacre doing their best with the film-school script and direction.

    As feature-film entertainment, Jubilee's a non-starter. But as a caveat-emptor period piece it works fine, and I for one am grateful it was made.
  • movieman_kev6 November 2003
    pap smear of a "film"
    I can think of a great many words to describe Jubilee. Yet the one that I most want to scream is pretentious art-house crap. All these borderline masturbatory gushing reviews for this pap smear of a "film". why? because it "thinks outside the box", or "in your face", or "poetry in action"?? The former two might be true, the latter one is NOT. This film is not punk, it's tripe. Tripe of the worst kind boring, inane, idiotic tripe.

    My Grade: F

    DVD Extras: "Jubilee: A time less Golden" Documentary; Jordan's Dance (a super-8 short); theatrical trailer; shooting script; costume sketches; Continuity stills; "a new wave movie" (a collection of odds & ends)
  • stoptalking13 October 2006
    4/10
    Vile
    The 70's were worthless, a paltry shadow of the 60's, a hangover of a generation. What I got from this film and my moderate modicum of knowledge of punk was that you either became corporate or rebelle and had no cause, ala the punks. I realized the punks embraced dissent in the form of doing nothing, and embracing it. Their rebellion was an embodiment of what they viewed outsiders as. As paradoxical as that sounds it's as though they thought the world and those around them were vile, worthless trash, and took it upon themselves to become that. You can taste the grit of 1977, and it makes you feel dirty. I thought I hated this film, but I think that's the point. It's vile, and digusting, has nothing behind it but some images and scraps of ideology.
  • Vish Vishvanath28 September 2006
    1/10
    Derek Jarman deserves a beating for wasting so many people's time
    If any other director had as many figures of the time, and the budget to make this, they wouldn't have squandered it quite as effectively as Jarman does here.

    The concept sounds excellent. But the execution is appalling. "Acting" of the most embarrassing kind - think grown adults with the skills of 7 year olds. Bad. That's what we're talking about.

    This is a shameful film, one that would be forgotten about and rightly dustbinned in favour of thousands more worthy films that I'm unable to find on DVD. It's certainly put me off seeing anything else that Derek Jarman has had a hand in.

    I repeat, the apocalyptic concept sounds great, but if it appeals, go and see something better, like Alan Clarke's Stars of the Roller State Disco, or even Logan's Run...
  • Jason Forestein21 May 2006
    7/10
    Why don't you take up embroidery
    Warning: Spoilers
    An utterly bizarre film to be sure, Jubilee is an anarchic take on history and science fiction that tells, simultaneously, of Queen Elizabeth I's reign and a dystopian England in 1977 where gangs of women roam the countryside.

    Punk-SciFi would reach its apogee with Repo Man, but here's where it more or less starts: With Adam Ant and a host of nameless actors gallivanting about London in outrageous garb. It's an amateur production, I think, that lacks in acting and cinematography. Even the dystopian vision of the then-present, though squalid, lacks snap. Derek Jarman, the director, would go on to do greater, and more adventurous, work that this, most notably Blue.

    So why an 7 out of 10? Because polish and anything more than a DIY sensibility would have ruined this film. What it lacks in technical ability (and it pretty much lacks entirely of technical ability), it makes up for in energy and spirit and ideas. In many ways, it reminds me of Night of the Living Dead--a rather amateur production that, despite technical faults, rises above its limitations and is entirely effective. It's not a great film, but it's an incredibly interesting one.

    Jubilee is a cinematic experience unlike very few others. It's about as far from mainstream as one can get in non-avant garde English language film (no concessions are made to the middle of the road), so I cannot recommend this to everyone. If you want to see something different (are you a fan of Repo Man, for instance) and something rather unique, check the movie out.

    PS You can also snobbishly remark that Sofia Coppola's upcoming Marie Antoinette is nothing but a rehash of most of the ideas put forth here, when it comes out later this year.
  • pudman21 July 1999
    2/10
    waste of time and potential
    JUBILEE was the first film to come from the true British punk rock scene, and has a fascinating cast, but unfortunately this is one of the most boring, pretentious, and ultimately pointless movies I've ever seen. I defy anyone to stay awake through it.
  • h_wilson925 January 2010
    10/10
    Best Derek Jarman movie
    I have seen all of Derek Jarman's movies and this one is by far his best.This is the first British punk film and probably the best one that has ever been done.It was very difficult to describe this movie as it has many strange images from beginning to end.It is one of the most amazing movies.

    If you know Derek Jarman's style of directing then you will know he doesn't follow other director's ways of directing.This movie has a fantastic score from Adam and the Ants and many others.If you don't like nudity,sex,drugs and violence then do not watch this movie.This movie is very underrated.Watching this movie is a very rare experience that will come very few times in your life.I would recommend this movie to all punk fans rating: 10/10
  • vyto344 January 2004
    8/10
    Excellent atmosphere of punk-music era
    This film has been described as a "punk-music documentary," which is most certainly is not, as clearly explained in the "Making of" featurette contained on the DVD. It is an art house film written by Jarman to take the p*** out of the Queen, who was then very pompously celebrating her 25th jubilee. Since the punks were of the same inclination, he used a punk-scene setting as his way of making his point. There is actually not much live-music performance in the film at all. Toyah Willcox gets to play the lead, but she does not sing. She acts very well, but even though her character is odious. Jenny Runacre, in my mind, makes the best contribution to the film, because she is elegant, beautiful, and shows off her naked form attractively. Apart from Adam Ant, no major punk-music acts have any significant role in the film.
  • Martina_Helene15 April 2008
    2/10
    Awful, until the last 1/5 when it becomes somewhat bearable
    Warning: Spoilers
    One word to sum up Jubilee would be awful. It was so incredibly flawed. It was a huge waste of time for anyone looking for anything intelligent. The writing was terrible, the acting was even worse, and Jarman's directing was ridiculous. Jack Birkett who played the media mogul was definitely the WORST actor in the entire film and maybe gave one of the worse film acting jobs of all time. He had absolutely no idea what he was doing. The three main girls (Jordan, Nell Campbell, and Jenny whatever) were absolutely atrocious actors, I have NO idea why they were chosen. And they were ugly too (except maybe Jenny). Not enjoyable to watch any of them in the least. Adam Ant was okay at best, but ended up being the best actor in this 'movie'.

    Jubilee was trying to make some political/social statement making it, but in the end it just ended up as film rubbish. It was so ridiculously stupid it was laughable. There was stupid violence and killing that made no sense within any context.

    Also the film had a rather sexist view of women. I felt that it was trying to show what would happen if women end up taking over the world (especially having Elizabeth I (a powerful queen) go forward in time that was 'futuristic' when the movie was made right after the women's rights movement of the 60s). Basically, it would be a terrible world where no one would be able to 'control' the women so therefore they would end up going crazy, killing men, murdering police officers, getting naked at anytime, having sex with anyone, etc etc. Which was not a nice message and I did not appreciate it at all.

    I'm annoyed because I am in a 'New European Cinema' Class where we watch movies from 1970s on from Europe, and two of the kids in my class recommended it and my teacher let us watch it without even watching it herself. What a waste of class time, especially because there are so many better English movies, it's atrocious that she wasted our time.

    For a reason that I do now know, the last 1/5 of the movie got slightly better, but it was still way below mediocre film making. Basically 'better' means almost bearable. However, the last fifth (the last 20 minutes) and they isn't even good enough to bear watching this awful film.

    The premise was an interesting one (Queen of England goes ahead in time to see futuristic times) but Jarman completely failed at making a movie worth anyones time. And there was some listenable music.

    Really, it should never have been made, it is a waste of film.
  • wrath-of-ghengis2 February 2005
    1/10
    Post-Apocalyptic Pretension, anyone?
    Warning: Spoilers
    This movie was, quite frankly, crap. Artsy, pretentious crap, to be fair, but crap nevertheless. Only see it if you're into post-apocalyptic films of the worst kind/are a die-hard Rocky Horror fan/ have very low standards. There wasn't much of a plot, and what was there was entirely too hard to follow amidst the seizure-inducing color scheme of the movie and it's poor acting.

    If you still wish to see this movie, however, just fast forward to the Brittania dance-sequence. It's totally worth the $3.50 you'll pay renting it from anywhere, and has more poignant acting and plot than any other section of the entire film. And be sure to turn off the movie during the Little Nell smothering sex-scene.
  • RHPSvegas18 June 2002
    10/10
    interesting and entertaining
    I was introduced to this film by a person with limited intelligence who

    only liked it because it had Little Nell and Richard O'Brien. I have to

    admit, that's the reason why I sat through it the first time - that was

    over a year ago. I recently purchased the film on DVD (European PAL

    format that I can only watch on my computer) and I have to say, upon

    screening this film again, I now realize just what a work of art it is.

    As with all independent films that actually hide a deeper meaning,

    mainstream audiences will not get this. It's about Queen Elizabeth

    asking her court magician to summon an angel to show her the future of

    Britain. She is shocked when she sees England taken over by vicious

    punks and Buckingham Palace turned into a recording studio. What can be

    said other than Rule Britainia!!!!!!!!!
  • Drexel-421 May 1999
    PANTS
    I have only one word for this film. Pants!.

    I watched this film in college as part of a Media & Culture lesson, and I felt that this was a complete waste of time. The film had no reason, no story, and above all, made no sense. This is without a doubt, and I say this with my hand on my heart, that this is the WORST film that I have ever seen in my whole life, and I doubt that I will ever see anything worse than this in the future. And I didn't even get to watch all of it because the lesson finished. I would like to see the rest of it, but only to see how the ending could maybe improve an already messed up film. This makes home movies look like major Hollywood productions. Avoid at all cost, and if anyone you know talks about it, and says that they liked it, I strongly suggest that you make new friends.
  • CrowtherD11 April 2015
    1/10
    If you have a choice of watching this movie or having your fingernails pulled out it's a toss up!!!!
    Warning: Spoilers
    The worst movie I have ever tried to watch. We lasted about 45 minutes hoping it would get better, it only got worse. If you have to waste an hour and 40 minutes find another way. If you have a choice of having your finger nails pulled out or watch this movie it's a toss up! The scenes at the beginning with Queen Elizabeth The First were pretty good. The costumes were good and the language very good. Unfortunately once the action moves to the future it goes down hill very quickly. Lots of boring banter between the characters and a non- existent plot. My husbands favorite part of this movie was the "nice tits". It seems more like a soft porn movie that anything else, but most of the soft porn I have seem had a plot. This did not.
  • PVOM23 January 2000
    Adam Ant's Finest Hour
    Thinking about this film reminds me of how I wound up purchasing the entire Adam Ant catalogue of cds (I mean everything from rollicking "Kings of the Wild Frontier" to the inexplicable "Wonderful"). This film was my introduction to the musician and at the time what I would romanticise in my head as- the punk "revolution". Most aspects of the film were too murky and outright arty for my 15 year old attention span to endure, though I have since gone on to realize... well certain deeper meanings in retrospect (don't ask me to elaborate). But it's a definate curiousity with Nell Campbell from "Rocky Horror" as a nymphomaniac who seduces young struggling musician Adam Ant. Ant's character is also seduced by the corporate monolithic something or other and there's a pretty relevant speech given about selling out. The appearence of Richard Jordon drew parallels to "Rocky Horror" at the time as in, if you liked this ditty... But it's wholey unigue, if not outright bizarre. Adam Ant's character performs a song "Plastic Surgery" which would lead to my eventual Sex Pistols phase and the purchase of several of his cds... incidentally most of "that" music was a lot of burundi beats and yodeling (damn fine stuff, make no mistake). But if "Goody Two Shoes" is all you remember about Adam Ant, take a gander at the scene in which he is viciously beaten by facist COPs. Curious. Brian Eno also pops up on the Soundtrack, which I eventually tracked down some four years after seeing the film finally snagging a copy of "Plastic Surgery", pretty much a Sex Pistols bite, but pungent none-the less.
  • bauhaus119852 August 2006
    4/10
    Sioxsie and the Banshees
    Warning: Spoilers
    To be honest i expected to see a punk movie. Something in the lines of the movie SLC Punk but with real punks being punks. I'm a huge siouxsie and the banshees fan and was sad that the only scene she was in is where adam ant is watching the TV, and the band pops up for a couple seconds. The only part i liked was the fact that adam ant was in the movie. And the couple seconds of siouxsie and the banshees in a movie. Maybe I'm the only one that feels this way about the movie. Well i gave it a 4 out of 10, sorry. And what is up with the whole going to the "future" and ending up in just England? They could have gone other parts of the world and see other scenes. But i guess it makes sense because it was a low budget movie. well i do recommend SLC Punk if you haven't yet seen it.
  • nycritic19 April 2006
    5/10
    Liz of Yesterday, Liz of Tomorrow
    Warning: Spoilers
    Derek Jarman is not a film director one can easily digest. His films were made with the intention to shock, to produce some form of catharsis -- positive or negative -- but something so strong that there would be no other way to regard his work as moving, or deeply unsettling.

    JUBILEE is his second feature film coming on the heels of SEBASTIANE and tells the story of Queen Elizabeth I, who summons John Dee and has him reveal unto her the England of the future -- to see how far her influence has reached. He does so, and Ariel appears, showing her a country gone to hell, ruled under anarchy, the police, and the media. Here she time travels to this desolate future, becoming Bod and becoming a leader of a female gang of punks, among them Mad, ViV, and Crabs. Several of them have aspirations to transcend their present, dire situation and make it in the pop world -- bringing forth their own punk sensibilities to it -- while moments of extreme violence, mainly against men, ensues, until one of their own is murdered and they take action against those in power.

    JUBILEE is pure Jarman. Not an easy film to come into nor to watch for its entire duration because despite having done films of stronger cinematic value, it seems to me that this one is left hanging in its own time of release (1977) when Punk as a movement was screaming its way into the media and trying to assert itself. True, Punk has come and gone -- assimilated into the Modern Rock movement of the 1980s and subsequently, the Alternative Rock scene of the 1990s and the present decade, but then again, I could be speaking too soon. Every time I watch commercials on television advertising the most vicious computer games in which people destroy people and live under a system of chaos, I can see where JUBILEE was ahead of its time and it certainly is by all accounts.

    However, there is something vaguely repellent about this movie. I can't place it, and I went into it with a mind as open as the sea. Maybe it's Toyah Willcox's extreme performance as the butch Mad which oozes rage and draws close to insanity. It could also be the nihilism of the scenes in which two men -- one straight, one gay -- get killed at the hands of women who seduce them, among them Bod/Queen Elizabeth I, played by Jenny Runacre. Whatever it is, JUBILEE has set its goal to shock, to generate strong gut reactions to it. On that basis alone it's worth the watch, but from a distance and with a watchful ear so as to pay close attention to the sayings of Borgia Ginz who predict a dire future for human kind.
  • Boyd7 June 2017
    4/10
    Fabulous Characters in an AWFUL FILM
    Jordan, Little Nell, Jayne County and countless other wonderful characters of the time are captured by an artist ... Artists rarely see whats really there and Jarman missed Punk by a mile with this ... There are parts that are unforgettable ... Jordans dance being the Stand Out ... But what we have here is a film maker that has no idea of how to make a film narrative that would communicate his ideas ... If you want to see Jarmans world watch "The Alternative Miss World" which is much more entertaining, though not one of his films obviously ... Only watch this mess for some wonderful portraits of the people of the time ... Jarman did things a lot better with "Last of England"
  • Ali Catterall19 November 2009
    7/10
    The world's your oyster, so swallow it
    If you can see ball gowns and bovver boots picking their way over rubble beside the Thames set to a classical music score, you're probably watching a Derek Jarman picture.

    England's first punk film was mostly shot around Butlers Wharf and Shad Thames in Southwark, south-east London; in the late 1970s a hive of mouldering warehouses and docks - ideal for the director's vision of a run-down capital besieged by murderous punks. (Two decades later, in the same spot, Hugh Grant and Colin Firth would inflict less lasting damage on one another in Bridget Jones's Diary.)

    A preposterous film in many ways, and particularly memorable for punk icon Jordan's burlesque strut to a reggae-fied 'Rule Britannia' while wearing a Union Flag skirt. The Spice Girls didn't know they were born. (Although, in all fairness, Baby Spice did precede the film by a year.)
  • Joseph Sylvers13 December 2007
    Oi, Oi, Ohhh?
    Warning: Spoilers
    Queen Elizabeth asks her court alchemist to show her a vision of England in the future, and the alchemist summons a angle/spirit guide(played by Adam Ant) who transports her to London 400 years into the future where it is a post apacalyptic wasteland. The story then follows a group of nihilistic girl punks who all get lengthy monologues(as does almost every character) on British history, art, sex, love, the music industry, anarchy, God, the end of western civilization etc, and their dealings with a mass media mogul who virtually controls the city, sadistic fascist police, and each other. All of the dialogue between the Queen, her alchemist, and the spirit is all in poetic verse, while all of the future talking is mostly cockney sloganeering which was so pretentious in the first couple of scenes I almost turned it off. However it really picked up after about the first fifteen minutes and you barely notice it. It's not really a film about punk so much as it is a film about the breakdown of civilization, which uses the punk scene as vehicle for the metaphor. It was actually a lot better than I thought it would be, I definitely recommend it for those of you interested in this sort of thing. Recording legend Brian Eno also does the score, and if that doesn't sweeten to pot for your to watch this, nothing will. Jarman has had many successes since, but none this vital, at least not for me.
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