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The Tempest: Remastered Edition [Blu-ray]

30 customer reviews

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(Aug 07, 2012)
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Editorial Reviews

SYNOPSIS: Shot on location at the ancient and ghostly Stoneleigh Abbey, The Tempest tells the story of Prospero the magician, who lives with his nubile daughter on an enchanted island and punishes his enemies when they are shipwrecked there. It's a study of sexual and political power in the guise of a fairy tale. Jarman presents Shakespeare's intricate comedy of magic and revenge in a form that is at once faithful to the spirit of the play and an original and dazzling spectacle mixing Hollywood pastiche, high camp, and gothic horror. His film recalls the innocent homoeroticism of Pasolini's versions of classics, while its lush sense of décor and color is worthy of Minnelli. Remastered in HD and available for the first time on Blu-ray!

BONUS FEATURES: Three short films by Derek Jarman: ''A Journey To Avebury'', ''Garden Of Luxor'' and ''Art Of Mirrors'', trailers and more.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Bull, David Meyer, Neil Cunningham
  • Directors: Derek Jarman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: August 7, 2012
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0083Q4KCM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,656 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 47 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 30, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I was dragged, kicking & screaming, to this film the first time I saw it. Staggeringly enough, I wound up being utterly captivated. While the film most closely resembles a fantasia on themes from Shakespeare's play, its spirit is so at one with the original I don't think anyone but the most literal-minded purist could possibly object. With appallingly limited means, but a virtually limitless visual imagination, Jarman creates a true world of wonder. There are moments of stunning beauty throughout -- Miranda's vision of herself as a child, Ferdinand dragging himself naked from the sea and staggering, half-drowned, along the shore -- and magnificent character choices -- Karl Johnson's still, sad-faced Ariel, Jack Birkett's egg-sucking, North Country Caliban, Heathcote Williams' youthful, vigorous, anarchic Prospero. All crowned, however, by an indescribably joyous "wedding masque" -- a loopy sailors dance followed by Elizabeth Welch sweeping in, all in gold, to sing (what else?)"Stormy Weather" as the entire cast practically melts in bliss. Only certain segments of Fellini's "The Clowns" have ever made me catch my breath the way I did repeatedly during this film. Made on a shoestring, this film is a triumph of wit & imagination. I tear up just thinking about it.
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139 of 169 people found the following review helpful By Rich Hicks on December 11, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
This low budget movie retains Shakespeare's language and some startling as well as disturbing interpretations of his play. Prospero's cave is a gothic mansion. Ariel is a deadpan, rather grim butler ala Joel Grey in Cabaret. Caliban resembles an escaped lunatic complete with maniacal laughter. Nevertheless all the characters despite their departure from more traditional depictions are well acted and worth watching. Miranda in particular has more brains and pluck in this production than the simpering waif she is often portrayed to be. The play drags on where Jarmon cut a lot of the poetry in favor of more scenes of the characters traipsing about the mansion. Such scenes become monotonous about halfway through the movie. Film is unrated but contains several scenes of full frontal nudity as well as a particularly disturbing vision of an adult Caliban suckling a nude, obese Sycorax. As a teacher of English, seleced scenes were worth showing to my ninth grade class but the film was too monotonous, and contained too much perversity to show in its entirety.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Robert Sercombe on August 4, 2003
Format: DVD
Ken Russell's designer on The Devils and Savage Messiah, the late Derek Jarman, made one of my favorite movies out of Shakespeare's most fanciful, yet most forgiving, play. Jarman makes a virtue of his tiny budget, having learned much from his former director about how to stretch one: the shadows, fireplaces, dust and antique clutter of Stoneleigh Abbey make a cozy and believable home in exile for Prospero, for whom "my library was dukedom enough," and for his fond daughter Miranda, who dances and play-acts around the vast, shabby manor like any imaginative child who hasn't known anything else, nor any reason to be ashamed of it. The mood is intimate and vespertine (in the Bjork sense); and for once, clutter is not the symptom of a lowlife or a loser, but the habit of a wistful, brilliant man absorbed in his studies and contemplation. For this alone, I recommend the film to anyone who ever felt like an innocent exile, a misunderstood artist or dreamer.
I also recommend it if you enjoy radical approaches to Shakespeare. Jarman's vision succeeds nearly everywhere, aided by superb casting. Hippie-hairy Heathcote Williams and the pleasantly zaftig Toyah Willcox are a warm and very appealing father and daughter, the ectomorphic Karl Johnson an Ariel with his own dreams to dream when not subduing resentment at his slavery to Prospero, and the bald, lisping, leering Jack Birkett nearly stealing the movie as an alarming, grotesque Caliban whose own wide-eyed pleasure in the "thousand twangling instruments" of the isle, with its "sounds and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not" is as strangely winning as his hostility and vulgarity have been repulsive.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Doug Anderson VINE VOICE on June 15, 2007
Format: DVD
This is a very strong re-imagining of Shakespeare's Tempest. Like Ken Russell (with whom Jarman served as an apprentice on a number of films), Jarman has a natural interest in and affinity for English history & literature and an equal interest in and affinity for camp which is skeptical of and often parodies traditions that it nonethless adheres to and upholds. As much of an iconoclast as Ken Russell and Derek Jarman seem to be they never stray far from the acknowledged masterpieces of literature and the way these masterpieces orient us toward the world; what they add, however, is an element of camp (or play, or polymorphous perversion, or myriad-mindedness) which draws attention to the restrictions that class and gender and race place on individuals or social actors "playing" at any given time in history. But this is, of course, what the greatest literature has always done--shown the arbitrary bounds and laws by which men and women delimit their lives. In this way the greatest literature has always been iconoclastic and Russell and Jarman fit into English tradition as well as Shakespeare and Marlowe, Byron and Shelley, Lawrence and Woolf.

In Jarman's production there is little left of the once great Prospero but a desire to be avenged. In his mind the world wronged him and he will not be at peace with it until he sets it right again. The irony is that in seeking to set the world aright he enslaves others (Ariel and Caliban) and simply perpetuates the chain of wrongdoing that he is trying to break. The tragedy of the play is that Prospero knows that despite his efforts he really cannot make men act against their natures and that despite brief lapses of peace (occasioned by art) men will always resume their contest for power.
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