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307 Ratings

The Tempest

Directed by Derek Jarman
United Kingdom, 1979
Drama, Cult, LGBT+
  • English
  • No subtitles


The Tempest tells the story of Prospero the magician, who lives with his nubile daughter on an enchanted island and punishes his enemies when they are shipwrecked there. This Shakespeare adaptation was Derek Jarman’s third feature, shot on location at the ancient and ghostly Stoneleigh Abbey.

Our take

A notorious enfant terrible of British cinema, Derek Jarman presents Shakespeare’s comedy of magic and revenge in a form that is at once faithful to the spirit of the play and a dazzlingly lush pastiche of Hollywood, high camp, and gothic horror.

The Tempest Directed by Derek Jarman

Critics reviews

Shakespeare it’s not—exactly. But why not? Whose take on Shakespeare gets to be called the real thing, these days? In Jarman’s version, there’s nothing post-colonial except the straw-strewn mansion where Prospero casts his spells; Caliban has either yolk or his dam’s nipple in his mouth, and properly terrifies.
October 29, 2014
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