The Angelic Conversation (1987)

DEREK JARMAN

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB

United Kingdom, 1987.  Channel Four Films, British Film Institute.  Sonnets by .  Cinematography by Derek Jarman.  Produced by .  Music by , , .  Film Editing by , .  

The most artistically minded viewers might get something out of this Derek Jarman experiment, but even that’s a long shot. A man makes a spiritual journey to cleanse himself before finding love, all of it filmed in black and white and slow motion while Judi Dench reads Shakespearean sonnets over the soundtrack. Dench is a most welcome voice for the Bard’s work, but as a feature film this is a bit of a wearing method of storytelling. Jarman is, as usual, an uncompromising filmmaker, but this time his work is as alienating as it is admirable.

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