The Tempest (1979)


Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5

United Kingdom, 1979.  Boyd’s Company.  Screenplay by Derek Jarman, based on the play by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by , .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Confusing and unenjoyable adaptation of Shakespeare’s play by experimental filmmaker Derek Jarman. The plot virtually stays the same, that of an exiled King and his enemy let loose on a deserted island by a terrible storm, with the one’s son falling in love with the other’s daughter. Jarman’s overindulgence in his own excesses kills the enjoyment of the experience, but it is beautifully photographed with lots of dazzling visual imagery. The film plays short shrift with Shakespeare’s dialogue and leaves its actors wandering in a mess; Jarman reached his full artistic potential years later with The Last Of England, while Shakespeare’s own play was better served by the 1956 science-fiction film Forbidden Planet! (Okay, it’s a loose adaptation, but it’s still better than Greenaway’s version).

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