British filmmaker Derek Jarman combines his standard erotic imagery with innovative documentary techniques in his Last of England. The film traces the decline and fall of Britain as seen from the vantage points of London and Belfast.
Old home movies, newly shot hand-held 8 millimeter photography, “straight” newsreel-style footage and a barrage of familiar music and street sounds all combine to create a jaw-dropping mosaic of apocalyptic allusions. Obviously not geared to everyone’s taste, Last of England is an eloquent cry of anguish from one of the most accomplished British filmmakers of the 1980s. Jarman also wrote the book on which this film is based.
The Last of England is a 1988 British arthouse film directed by Derek Jarman and starring Tilda Swinton. It is a poetic, rather than realistic, depiction of what Jarman felt was the loss of traditional English culture in the 1980s. It is named after a painting by the artist Ford Madox Brown.
The Last of England (1988)
Directed by: Derek Jarman
Starring: Tilda Swinton, Spencer Leigh, ‘Spring’ Mark Adley, Gerrard McArthur, Jonny Phillips, Gay Gaynor, Matthew Hawkins, Nigel Terry
Screenplay by: Derek Jarman
Production Design by: Christopher Hobbs
Cinematography by: Tim Burke, Richard Heslop, Christopher Hughes, Derek Jarman, Cerith Wyn Evans
Film Editing by: Peter Cartwright, Angus Cook, John Maybury, Sally Yeadon
Costume Design by: Sandy Powell
Music by: Simon Fisher-Turner
Distributed by: International Film Circuit
Release Date: February 14, 1988