Jubilee (1978) DVD9 Criterion Collection
The film opens in England 400 years earlier, with Queen Elizabeth I (Jenny Runacre) and her court astrologer and alchemist, John Dee (Richard O'Brien, creator of The Rocky Horror Picture Show), summoning forth the angel Ariel (David Haughton) to show them the future of their great nation. These opening scenes are shot with lush serenity—all green foliage and candlelight—suggesting that Elizabethan England was a golden age, a time of beauty and peacefulness.

This calm past is then violently juxtaposed with Jarman’s vision of the chaotic near future, in which England has deteriorated into a state of near-anarchy. In Jarman's England, there is utter chaos in the streets. Policemen do little to maintain law and order and, in fact, sometimes kill people simply for sport. In retaliation, civilians kill them right back. Anarchy and flagrant sexuality are pandemic, and even Westminster Cathedral has been transformed into a nightclub for orgy-fests. Dorset, for its part, has been transformed into a communist state where "gay, homosexuals, and Jews are banned." The rest of England is rampant with cross-dressing punk transvestites, homoerotic encounters, and street gangs. Sadomasochism abounds, involving everything from bondage to menages a trois to orgies among apostles and bishops.

DVD9 | NTSC 16:9 | 01:46:33 | 7.38 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English (Dolby AC3, 1 ch)
Subtitles: English
Genre: Drama, Music

Director: Derek Jarman
Cast: Jenny Runacre, Nell Campbell, Toyah Willcox, Jordan, Ian Charleson, Karl Johnson, Richard O'Brien
Country: UK


Jubilee: A Time Less Golden documentary
This well-done 37-minute retrospective documentary, which was produced especially for this DVD release, includes interviews with filmmaker and critic Tony Rayns, stars Jenny Runacre and Toyah Willcox, production designer Christopher Hobbs, and art department assistances Lee Drysdale and John Maybury. They all have interesting and sometimes conflicting memories about Jarman (who died in 1994) and the film’s production (most interesting is how innocent Willcox was at the time, given the extremity of the character she plays). The documentary also includes brief clips from Derek Jarman’s initial cinematic experiments with Super-8. Presented in anamorphic widescreen (1.78:1).

Jordan’s Dance short film by Derek Jarman
This five-minute short film showing a ballerina dancing around a bonfire was shot by Jarman on Super-8 in 1977, and fragments of it appear in Jubilee. It is shown silent, but also includes an optional audio commentary by Jarman that runs for about a minute. Presented in 1.33:1.

Shooting Script
This actually consists of more than 100 scans of pages of a fascinating scrapbook Jarman kept during the film’s production. It contains pages of the shooting script, as well as photographs, handwritten notes, production sketches, and storyboards. Unfortunately, you can’t actually read the entire shooting script, only certain pages. Presented in 1.33:1.

Costume Sketches
Contained here are 11 costume sketches by designer Christopher Hobbs (some are in black and white, while others are full color).

Continuity Stills
This is a photo album containing more than 150 black-and-white Polaroids taken during the film’s production.

"A New Wave Movie"
This is a section containing more ephemera from Jarman’s extensive personal collection, including his own musings about the film, cutouts from punk fan magazines, photographs, newspaper and magazine clippings about the film’s release, pictures of Vivienne Westwood’s infamous T-shirt protesting the film, and even images of Adam & the Ants’ records.

Original theatrical trailer
Presented in anamorphic widescreen (1.66:1).

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