As someone relatively new to nonnarrative films this was initially not the easiest to get into but once I did a little research I've come to really appreciate both Jarman and the genre. An interesting collection of voices and visuals much characteristic of Jarman. While not having a "story" like more traditional films The Last of England invokes Jarman's feelings on Cold War England and homoerotic imagery.
Jarman creates a fast, angry and sometimes also disturbing collage, using different visual and acoustic materials. It is one of my favorite examples for the power of the audiovisual montage created by different grades of density.
Jarman's then timely attack on Thatcherism was a fascinating experimental non-linear ride that still proves effective near 30 years later. Lashing out figuratively at militarism, blind patriotism and even the monarchy Jarman's frustration at Thatcher's impact on Britain is keenly felt.
The Last of England bears testament to the power of post-production. This is a film of inchoate fragments assembled into a fairly coherent whole, buttressed by a formidable sound design. Jarman was a longtime 8mm documenter of underground goings on, and he owes a lot to the American avant-garde. This is a movie unthinkable without the precedence of the likes of Kenneth Anger and Jonas Mekas. Probably a bit dated.
A rather shrill, scatter-gun attack on Thatcherism. Moments of affecting poetry are almost nullified by clumsy polemical diatribes and as political attack, rather like pissing in the wind. Best viewed as a series of pop videos, the form of which occupied the director at the time.
Immersive & visceral onslaught of visuals, with almost-as-good sound. But the narration was disappointingly literal (and often eye-rollingly over-the-top). And every scene was twice as long as it needed to be. Except the one with the naked guy eating the cauiflower. And the wedding scene. Those ones were perfect.