Close Up

27 September 2019: The Last of England


The Last of England
Derek Jarman, 1987, 87 min

“The last gasp of that post-punk movement.” – Michael O’Pray

The Last of England works with image and sound, a language which is nearer to poetry than prose. It tells its story quite happily in silent images, in contrast to a word-bound cinema.” –Derek Jarman

"Derek Jarman’s apocalypse-now vision of Thatcher’s England is an anti–city symphony whose lyricism is put toward a portrait of the damage done. An astounding collage of urban images is edited to flow with dramatic passages – reenactments from hell – and idyllic family footage from before the fall. This nonnarrative film thus has a dramatic progression to it, even a hero: we meet him shooting up in a godforsaken corner; we see his childhood unfold as if in a dream from another lifetime. A beautiful, obsessive, disturbing work, here is Jarman, the craftsman, at his most political – and his most persoal." – BAMPFA

Part of our season on Derek Jarman