EDWARD II REVIEWED
“Edward II” is one of the last New Queer Cinema masterworks from Derek Jarman. The film also served as an early turn from Tilda Swinton. The movie tries to bring queer themes and modern romance to an older tale. Hell, they even had Annie Lennox show up to sing a Cole Porter tune. The costumes are eye treasures that make your eyes pop out at every turn. For everything that happens, this remains Tilda Swinton’s movie.
She plays Edward’s scorned wife with the kind of pageantry befitting a Valkyrie. She’ll sleep with everyone and flip anything over that could possibly help her quest for vengeance. Swinton’s Isabella understands her husband’s need for homosexual infidelities. It’s just that she’s angry for having to suffer through this like some random commoner. Jarman doesn’t cop out on the subject matter, yet he also seems obsessed with spectacle.
The best way I can explain it is if Baz Luhrmann liked less lighting and way more drama. Give it a shot.
- Documentary featurette Derek’s Edward
- Queenie Queens on Top – a new essay by filmmaker Bruce LaBruce, with a prologue by star Tilda Swinton
- 1.85:1 1080p transfer
- DTS-HD 2.0
RELEASE DATE: 6/12/18
The Plot Thus Far
In this new HD restoration of the iconic New Queer Cinema classic, Derek Jarman offers a postmodern take on Christopher Marlowe’s Elizabethan drama. Pleasure-seeking King Edward II sets the stage for a palace revolt by taking as a lover the ambitious Piers Gaveston – who uses his favor in bed to wield political influence – sending the gay pair from the throne to a terminal torture dungeon. This landmark of gay cinema features an incredible performance from Jarman muse and Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton) as Edward’s spurned Queen Isabella and a rare film appearance by singer Annie Lennox.