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The Tempest1979

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  • 3.5
THE TEMPEST, the last of William Shakespeare's great plays, was adapted for the screen for the first time by Derek Jarman in 1979. Among the most visionary of modern film artists, Jarman shot the film on location at the ancient and ghostly Stoneleigh Abbey. THE TEMPEST tells the story of Prospero the magician, who lives with his daughter on an enchanted island and punishes his enemies when they are shipwrecked there. Jarman presents Shakespeare's intricate comedy of magic and revenge in a form that is at once faithful to the spirit of the play and an original and dazzling spectacle mixing Hollywood pastiche, high camp, and gothic horror. The film's master stroke is the finale, a wedding feast designed and choreographed as as full scale production number, with the veteran black comedy musical star Elisabeth Welch wafting her way through a chorus of hunky sailors as she belts out "Stormy Weather." It's one of the great scenes in British cinema.

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1 member likes this review

True greatness, there. Anyone who loves the visual poetry of Jodorowsky or Paradjanov, whether straight or gay, may well love this movie. I consider this to be top notch work, complex and subtle imagery, concepts, layering. Just the difference in the different portrayals of Ariel, from one lighting and angle and make-up to the next keeps it elusive. Deeply charming Miranda, what a voice.

Clever ways of subverting the original, and helping us understand what's going on, jiggle waking and sleeping, and the camp of Stormy Weather.

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top reviewer

Member Reviews (11)

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top reviewer

True greatness, there. Anyone who loves the visual poetry of Jodorowsky or Paradjanov, whether straight or gay, may well love this movie. I consider this to be top notch work, complex and subtle imagery, concepts, layering. Just the difference in the different portrayals of Ariel, from one lighting and angle and make-up to the next keeps it elusive. Deeply charming Miranda, what a voice.

Clever ways of subverting the original, and helping us understand what's going on, jiggle waking and sleeping, and the camp of Stormy Weather.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

One of the worst productions of Shakespeare I've seen... And I say this as someone who has really admired some of Jarman's other films, and who wishes to see more of them.

It does not work.

Strange movie. Shakespeare movies are quite mysterious any way. Not easy to understand,

sucks

Claustrophobic. Unforgettable. Upsetting. Probably in a good way. I need time with it. That's a good thing.

never seen a play done like this...really enjoyed it

Wonderful and strange.

as complex as shakespeare...

first rate magic