A true masterpiece by one of the purest and spontaneous filmmakers of the last century. A living canvas when actors go back to their original concept of acting in cinema, which was expressing without talking. A must watch for everybody and a must have for all the Jarman fans.
Jarman followed up the amazing 'The Last of England' with this poetic work full of rich imagery that wedded the operatic requiem by Benjamin Britten with Jarman's compositions with cinematographer Richard Gretrex. Many memorable scenes brought to life by Jarman's stock company including a young Tilda Swinton and Nigel Terry. A little precocious for some but worthwhile.
I fell asleep after half of the film. Better turn off the opera. I hate musical. Nice shot at the end of the film. Use so many war footage. Crappy cheap song. 10/10 never watch again. The best way to watch this ?: See it in silence.
In reconstructing Wilfred Owens tragic story without words (and therefore giving a visual response to Benjamin Britten’s use of Owen’s poetry as inserts for the liturgical text of the "Missa pro defunctis") Jarman finds some disturbing pictures and convincing narratives for Britten’s highly inventive and historical important pacifist Requiem composition from 1961/62.
Both the best & worst of Jarman’s sincerity (naïveté?) & theatricality. A true requiem; solemn, earnest - recruiting art (poetry, operatic choreography, orchestra, baroque aesthetics) & maybe half the symbolism in our collective consciousness in an exhortation to feel. Is it enough? For those open to it: immersive, moving, even devastating. But if it's your 1st Jarman, it'll likely be your last. Start somewhere else.