Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Edward II

1991 British Feature

Cast: Steven Waddington, Tilda Swinton, Andrew Tiernan, Nigel Terry, John Lynch, Dudley Sutton, Jerome Flynn, Allan Corduner and Annie Lennox
Director: Derek Jarman
Writers: Ken Butler and Derek Jarman, based on the play by Christopher Marlowe

Edward II of England's infatuation with Piers Gaveston proves to be the downfall for both of them due to the machinations of his spurned queen, Isabella.


  • Internet Movie Database: 6.7/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes - Critics: 100% / Audience: 70 %
  • OMG rating: 7/10

  • DVD: Available
  • Book: Available


  • Berlin International Film Festival Teddy Award for Best Feature Film and FIPRESCI Prize, Forum of New Cinema.
  • Venice Film Festival Volpi Cup Award for Best Actress (Swinton).

  • Christopher Marlowe's play, fully titled as The Troublesome Reign and Lamentable Death of Edward the Second, King of England, with the Tragical Fall of Proud Mortimer, is one of the earliest English history plays. It was first registered in 1593, five weeks after Marlowe's death. It was first performed and published the following year, and continues to be produced by contemporary theatrical groups.
  • The film is staged in a postmodern style, using a mixture of contemporary and medieval props, sets and costumes.
  • The gay content of the play is brought to the fore in this film version, notably by adding a sex scene and by depicting Edward's army as gay rights protesters (played by actual members of the British activism group OutRage!).
  • The film also draws parallels between Edward's trials and the then-current British political scene, when GLBT activists were actively fighting against Section 28, a statute that barred the "promotion of homosexuality".
  • Annie Lennox, credited only as "The Singer", serenades King Edward and Piers Gaveston with Cole Porter's "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye", which she originally recorded for the AIDS benefit compilation album Red Hot + Blue. The music video for the song was also directed by Derek Jarman.

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