'What proof do you need the world's curling up like an autumn leaf?' Jarman's most uncompromisingly personal film is of many parts. Shots of the man himself are accompanied by the mournful voice of Nigel Terry. Clips from home movies are spliced with endless scenes of inner-city decay and rent-boys throwing bricks. Pop video techniques are substituted for dialogue and linear progression. References to the Falklands War, drugs, the Bomb and the Royal Wedding are supposed to indicate the state of Britain today. Jarman, however, is not engaged with his subject but playing with it, a suspicion strengthened by continual allusions to his other work. The recurring images of desolate beauty are poetical not polemical, mesmerising not shocking - style has subverted substance. This is art of the state. Still, no one else could have made it.
Cast and crew