This is the type of film that I would sit down to watch in a dark room at an art gallery, enjoy it for 5 minutes, get up and go see something else. But to watch the whole thing in one sitting, that I just can't do. 20 mins in and the dissonant sounds and images became too redundant and tiresome for me. I appreciate the idea and I get the message, but it's not for me.
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.
"One of the most emotionally shattering and formally inspired movies of the 1980s." We see the past of England all smiling proper mums and dads, playing laughing children and Sunday dinners around the table. We see the present (1980s here but applicable to 2017 USA) with sullen youth dry humping art and masked terrorists (or government special forces?) rounding up dissenters. Chilling.
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.
Experimental work from Jarman that left me completely underwhelmed. I recognize that some will love experimental "film" and so this is a movie for them. Not for me. It's just a mix of really great visuals with some really terrible visuals. Some really great editing with some really awful editing. I didn't get the theme that everyone else is pointing to. Didn't surface for me at all. Not my bag in any way.
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.
Really a masterpiece of experimental movie genres. It has a magnificent use of montage of the images and sounds, different tones of light and a wide range of sequence shots. All of this to create an abstract expression, an example of what can be made in art and modern cinema. It recalls, what is more, the earliest avant-garde-cinema films.
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.
This sits comfortably with The Thin Red Line at the top of the list of films that have had the greatest impact on me as a person and as a lover of film. I'm not sure if I've come across a movie as deeply and overtly personal as this one. It demonstrates the close relationship between the personal and the political. Bravo.