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When Queen Elizabeth I asks her court alchemist to show her England in the future, she's transported 400 years to a post-apocalyptic wasteland of roving girl gangs, an all-powerful media mogul, fascistic police, scattered filth, and twisted sex. With Jubi
Avant-garde spirit and punk-rock attitude combine with iconoclastic results in Derek Jarman's defiantly uncommercial Jubilee. Filmed in 1977--the silver jubilee year of England's Queen Elizabeth II--this fascinating hodgepodge of political dissent and audiovisual experimentation now stands as a vibrant document of its time, both immediate and enduring in its bold rejection of all things conventional. (Compared to this, the quasi-punk Repo Man and angst-ridden Sid & Nancy seem positively tame.) Jarman's film deserved its mixed reviews; like the films of Andy Warhol, it's a slapdash affair, cobbled together by Jarman and his fringe-dwelling friends, ostensibly designed as a kaleidoscopic glimpse of London's future, infused with apocalyptic nihilism and populated by proto-punks (including Adam Ant and Rocky Horror's Little Nell) in an anarchic orgy of gay and straight sex, music, violence, and (in retrospect) astonishingly accurate pop-cultural prophesy. It's the pioneering, angry/funny work of a genuine artist, as essential to punk film as the Sex Pistols were to music in the dreadful days of disco. --Jeff Shannon
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Top Customer Reviews
If you want to see some of the people that were a part of the "punk scene" when it first started then buy this movie. And Plastic Surgery (which is a real Adam and the Ants song that Adam wrote and was performing with his band at the time....Deuchester Girls is in it too, but you hardly hear it) is a greeeaat song. And he looks HOT singing it. Heck, he looks hot through the whole thing. This movie was 3 years after Rocky Horror Picture Show and it is cool to see Little Nell and Richard O'Brien in another movie together.
Anyway- what I am trying to say is.....BUY THIS MOVIE. Even if you don't like it personally, people will think you are a hip guy just for owning it.
And it is cheaper here then at the movie store. Trust me.
The basic plot of this experimental fantasy is simple: Queen Elizabeth I has the historical alchemist John Dee summon the spirit Ariel and transport all of them 400 years into the future, where they find London a post-apocalyptic wasteland. The talented Jenny Runacre plays both Queen Elizabeth and the anarchic latter-day "queen" Bod, who leads an all-female biker gang.
Made in 1977, at the height of the Punk movement, Jubilee has misleadingly been called a "Punk movie." Despite its trappings (from clothing to casting several well-known singers), ultimately it seems more about Punk than of it. How Jarman uses then-rising star Adam Ant is revealing. With his sweetly boyish persona - made just a bit wild by the black leather and painted-on lower sideburns - Adam Ant as "Kid" is undeniably appealing. But throughout he is as passive offstage as he is frenzied onstage. And Kid, unable to connect with anyone, will do anything for his career. He signs with the grotesque Borgia Ginz, the multinational mogul who controls the entire planet's media - hence political, even religious - power structure. Ginz immediately rechristens Kid as "Scum. That's commercial. It's all [the audience] deserves." One of the film's most haunting images is of Kid lasciviously kissing his own image on a TV.Read more ›
It's wild and beautiful, and some scenes (Jordan's interpretation of "Rule Britannia", the club-scene in Westminster-cathedral etc.etc. !!!) are simply miraculous.
See it, and you will find one of the important sources where the imagery of so many films of the 80's and 90's derive from, even if such a bizarre, tasteful punk-poetry like in "Jubilee" rarely has been attained since.
It's a highly elegic and even moral movie, Jarman sadly glances at our time, and one has to admit that many things have gone quite accurately in the direction Jarman predicted in 1978.
After having seen so many un-modern movies (i.e. neo-monumental, neo-melodramatic, neo-hyperrealistic films) in the last decade, watching "Jubilee" is like diving in fresh, cool water after a long walk in the desert.
By the way, Criterion did, as usual, a fine job; don't miss the excellent documentary!!!
Most recent customer reviews
i had a lot of trouble watching this, partly because it made no sense and partly because it wasn't interesting at all. Read morePublished on March 29 2004
This movie is about as boring as a thanksgiving parade, i wouldnt really call this art either, its just basically a punk movie with punk influence. Read morePublished on Sept. 17 2003 by The man under your bed . . .
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