Dir. Derek Jarman, UK 1991 | 90 minutes, DVD | Certificate 15
A celebration of the 450th anniversary of the playwright Christopher Marlowe’s birth, with Derek Jarman’s magical film adaptation of Edward II – inside St Nicholas’ Church, where Marlowe lies buried in an unmarked grave. Based on Marlowe’s dramatisation of a true story.
When King Edward II takes a male lover, Piers Gaveston, both his wife (Tilda Swinton) and palace officials are enraged – and plot to violently dethrone the king and dispatch Gaveston. Adapted by the radical British filmmaker Derek Jarman, the film contrasts the lavish 16th century text and setting with modern imagery of gay activists, riot police, yuppies and an unforgettable cameo from Annie Lennox.