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dir. Derek Jarman / United Kingdom 1978 / 106’
subtitles: Polish only


Jenny Runacre, Nell Campbell, Toyah Willcox, Jordan, Ian Charleson

Film description

The late 1970s in a devastated London. Elizabeth II is no longer alive. On the streets, punk gangs clash with brutal police officers. A record label is thriving at Buckingham Palace, and a disco draws crowds to Westminster Abbey. This dystopian vision of the collapse of the empire depicted in Jubilee was a present from Derek Jarman to mark a special occasion, the Queen’s pompous celebration of the 25th anniversary of her coronation in 1978. The first punk film made in the United Kingdom featured, on a small budget, some of the stars of bohemian London, including Adam Ant, Toyah Willcox, and Jordan, an icon of the subculture, whose extravagant makeup caused perfect housewives to drop their frying pans. In loosely connected episodes, a group of makeup-wearing anarchists tear down the bourgeois world, indulging in joyous, transgressive destruction, terrorizing a waitress with ketchup, suffocating bad lovers, profaning the national anthem. Jubilee is political and irreverent Jarman at his incorrigible best in this anti-system marriage of noncommittal sex and liberating violence.

Mariusz Mikliński

Information about director

Derek Jarman

An icon of queer cinema and counterculture, Derek Jarman is both an artist and an activist. He made his full-length debut in 1976 with Sebastiane, a gay interpretation of the legend of a saint. He looked for homosexual subjects in literature (Shakespeare’s The Angelic Conversation), in the lives of historical figures (Edward II), and in representatives of the world of culture (Wittgenstein). For Jarman, the combination of queer and punk esthetics with an anarchical message was an element of his opposition to conservative reality. He died of AIDS in 1994.  

Selected filmography

1976 Sebastian / Sebastiane

1979 Burza / The Tempest

1986 Anielskie rozmowy / The Angelic Conversation

1993 Wittgenstein

1993 Blue

Cast & Crew

director: Derek Jarman
screenplay: Derek Jarman
cinematography: Peter Middleton
editing: Nick Barnard
music: Brian Eno
cast: Jenny Runacre, Nell Campbell, Toyah Willcox, Jordan, Ian Charleson
producer: Howard Malin, James Whaley
production: Megalovision, Whaley-Malin Productions
sales: Hollywood Classics
language: English
colouration: colour
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