Derek Jarman's film adaptation of The Tempest.

Despite being radically unconventional, late auteur Derek Jarman's 1979 film has been hailed as one of the most successful adaptations of the Bard's works by several Shakespeare scholars. Jarman removes much of the dialogue, instead carrying the story with his trademark haunting images, lit mostly by fire and the moon. Using the prevalent English punk sensibility of the time, he also employs undertones of closeted gay society. Poet Heathcote Williams plays the banished Prospero with a frustrated intensity, while Karl Johnson is the sprite-like Ariel and Toyah Wilcox stars as Miranda, outrageously costumed in a stunning combination of period and punk tatters as she draws strangers into her home while longing for freedom.
Shot on location at Stoneleigh Abbey, Jarman's film creates a dreamlike world within each room that is lushly lit and decadent in its wasteful decay. As the tale progresses, Prospero's illusions become false realities, culminating in a sumptuous wedding feast that features a Busby Berkeley-like performance of sailors dancing as Elisabeth Welch sings "Stormy Weather."

Christopher Biggins as Stephano
Claire Davenport as Sycorax
David Meyer as Ferdinand
Elisabeth Welch as A Goddess
Heathcote Williams as Prospero
Helen Wellington-Lloyd as A Spirit
Jack Birkett as Caliban
Karl Johnson as Ariel
Ken Campbell as Gonzalo
Neil Cunningham as Sebastian
Peter Bull as Alonso
Peter Turner as Trinculo
Richard Warwick as Antonio
Toyah Willcox as Miranda

Certificate 15
Running Time 91 mins
Region 0
Main Language English
Subtitles No
Release Date 16/02/2004

Number of Discs 1
Special Features
Interactive Menus
Interviews: Derek Jarman (director)
Commentary: Toyah Wilcox, Peter Middleton (cinematographer)Other Documentary: Short silent films 'Art of Mirrors' and 'Garden of Luxor'

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