Directed by Derek Jarman • Drama • With Steven Waddington, Tilda Swinton, Annie Lennox • 1991 • 90 minutes
In this new restoration of the iconic New Queer Cinema classic, Derek Jarman offers a postmodern take on Christopher Marlowe’s Elizabethan drama. Pleasure-seeking King Edward II sets the stage for a palace revolt by taking as a lover the ambitious Piers Gaveston - who uses his favor in bed to wield political influence - sending the gay pair from the throne to a terminal torture dungeon. This landmark of gay cinema features an incredible performance from Jarman muse and Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton) as Edward's spurned Queen Isabella and a rare film appearance by singer Annie Lennox.
“Where the Marlowe play is a dog-eat-dog political allegory without heroes, the movie is a tract against the oppression of homosexuals through the ages, filmed by a director who is himself openly gay and living with AIDS.” – Stephen Holden, The New York Times