War Requiem

  • 1989
  • 1 HR 33 MIN
  • NR
  • Experimental

Marshalling an astonishing parade of images--brutal, exquisite, erotic, and painterly by turns--avant-garde director Derek Jarman supplies visual counterpoint to Benjamin Britten's masterwork, the 1961 oratorio War Requiem. Jarman's hallucinatory vision of war draws on the life and verse of WWI poet Wilfred Owen, who was killed on a French battlefield two...read more

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Marshalling an astonishing parade of images--brutal, exquisite, erotic, and painterly by turns--avant-garde director Derek Jarman supplies visual counterpoint to Benjamin Britten's masterwork, the 1961 oratorio War Requiem. Jarman's hallucinatory vision of war draws on the life and verse

of WWI poet Wilfred Owen, who was killed on a French battlefield two weeks before the Armistice. Owen's preoccupations--e.g., the Christ-like martyrdom of soldiers, the interplay of sexuality and death, the pity and horror evoked by the mutilation of young bodies--mesh perfectly with those of the

director. An anti-war film of surpassing power, WAR REQUIEM can also be read as a metaphorical treatment of the devastation of youth by AIDS. The soundtrack recording of Britten's music, by the London Symphony Orchestra with soloists including Peter Pears and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, is

first-class. Laurence Olivier's cameo is his last screen appearance.

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  • Released: 1989
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Marshalling an astonishing parade of images--brutal, exquisite, erotic, and painterly by turns--avant-garde director Derek Jarman supplies visual counterpoint to Benjamin Britten's masterwork, the 1961 oratorio War Requiem. Jarman's hallucinatory vision of… (more)

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