The Tempest

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Jarman's rendering of the Bard's last act is his best picture to date, superbly shot in crumbling abbeys and mansions that look like Piranesi's Gothic drawings of fallen Rome, and turning the triteness of camp into absurdist comedy. The ending is pure Python and a major mistake - a cabaret with Elisabeth Welch singing 'Stormy Weather'- but until then Jarman's gleeful re-imagining of the play and his serious debate with it works wondrously well. Ages and influences crash together - Caliban as an Edwardian butler, Ariel a sight for gay eyes, Prospero a character out of Blake - but it's all of a piece, directed like a magic show.

By: ATu

Release details

Duration: 95 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Derek Jarman
Screenwriter: Derek Jarman
Cast: Heathcote Williams
Karl Johnson
Toyah Willcox
Peter Bull
Richard Warwick
Elisabeth Welch
Jack Birkett
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