An unseen woman recites Shakespeare's sonnets - fourteen in all - as a man wordlessly seeks his heart's desire. The photography is stop-motion, the music is ethereal, the scenery is often ...
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An unseen woman recites Shakespeare's sonnets - fourteen in all - as a man wordlessly seeks his heart's desire. The photography is stop-motion, the music is ethereal, the scenery is often elemental: boulders and smaller rocks, the sea, smoke or fog, and a garden. The man is on an odyssey following his love. But he must first, as the sonnet says, know what conscience is. So, before he can be united with his love, he must purify himself. He does so, bathing a tattooed figure (an angel, perhaps) and humbling himself in front of this being. He also prepares himself with water and through his journey and his meditations. Finally, he is united with his fair friend.Written by
from "Peter Grimes"
Music by Benjamin Britten
Libretto by Montagu Slater
Performed by the Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Conducted by Colin Davis See more »
This is possibly the most visually beautiful film I've ever seen.
Like many of Jarman's works, it has no conventional narrative, but a montage of images, music and voice. The film was made by putting the original footage through a variety of different visual processes which end up giving it the look of an oil painting in motion -- I've never seen anything quite like it. The hypnotic (and frequently homoerotic) visual imagery coupled with ethereal, ambient music and a female voice reading Shakespeare's love sonnets is almost trance-inducing -- you seriously feel like you're in an altered state of consciousness by the end of it.
Highly recommended for those who enjoy experimental/art films, but those who don't will probably find the lack of a conventional plot confusing.
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