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Jubilee (Criterion Collection) back to product details

Well, at least the band footage was cool...
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written by colintappe May 28, 2009 - 5:02 AM PDT
I've always heard about this flick due to its punk connections, but it wasn't until I saw Jarman's previous flick, Sebastiane, that I finally took the plunge. I'm pretty much up for anything as far as movies go, but this was just garbage. If I may go back to Sebastiane, even though I'm well aware it was basically an excuse to show a bunch of naked guys wrestling around, but the actual cinematography was so spot on that it was visually a very powerful film. And there are flashes of the same kind of inspiration in this flick (namely during the scenes involving similar physical struggle), but any of that is overwhelmed by AWFUL dialogue, and a nonsensical plot, which also gets in the way of establishing any sort of impressionistic, or surreal tone, which, again, was one of Sebastiane's strong suits.

So as an arthouse flick, this falls way short. But with a pack of post-apocalyptic punker types and a low budget, there is the potential for a fun, trashy John Waters kind of flick, but it's just to damn boring to ever catch up to that pace. In a way it's genuinely frustrating, because I SHOULD love this flick, I mean, it's undoubtedly "cool," with its arty/punky leanings, killer soundtrack, and bombed out locations, but this just felt like a chore to watch. Save your time.

Easily misunderstood movie
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written by mason February 3, 2009 - 10:22 AM PST
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
The previous reviews of this film seem to be based on the easy misunderstanding that "Jubilee" is a "punk rock movie" -- which it isn't. It's an art film, no doubt about it, which happened to be made when British punk was thriving. But it's also a very political movie, encompassing a bleak vision of England's future as seen in 1978. It's an early Jarman film, so it's both a bit more raw than, say, "Edward II", but also less overtly avant-garde than "Blue".

While rough around the edges, and containing its share of somewhat aimless scenes, it's also got a lot of beautifully-rendered visuals and some strong performances. It's particularly great to see Toyah in her first real film role.

I definitely recommend watching the short documentary included here, which provides a lot of useful context around the film, the time at which it was made, and its importance as a resolutely indie film in 1978 England.

A sloppy realization of what could have a good idea...
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written by MMurphy2 August 27, 2006 - 9:04 AM PDT
Essentially without a plot or a protagonist, the film plodded on and on, with the outcome of certain scenes being very indistinct. No sympathetic characters with the exception of the time-traveling Elizabeth I and her court, who sadly never interact with the future denizens of London (unless you count Adam Ant's ill-fated self-absorbed up-and-coming punkers or the incestous car-thieves who give him advice he ignores). Nor are the anti-heroes any more interesting. The usually beautiful Toya Wilcox is unrecognizable as a puffy pyromaniac and the majority of the characters are vicious pyschopaths that fail to entertain, even on a dark humor level. You will find the hammy, line-streching impressario (played by a blind actor) to be the most irritating of the lot.

You got your pretentiousness in my punk rock!
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written by evilcupcakes June 10, 2004 - 5:41 PM PDT
8 out of 8 members found this review helpful
Let's start on a positive note, shall we? This film was not all bad. Some of the sets and costumes were great, and in many ways it captured some of the angst and frustration of the punk rock scene in England at that time. Not that I was there mind you, I read about it. In some book. Ok, it's what I *imagine* it would have been like, having been a fan of the music for many years. HOWEVER, all the weird crap with some guy in a spandex catsuit, Rif from Rocky Horror, and Queen Elizabeth musing on the nature of... I don't know, "time"? Was it? Or "life" or some such nonsense- was just dreadful and distracting. And Toyah Wilcox's character became so ANNOYING and overwrought I wanted to shoot her myself. On the plus side, Adam Ant is adorable, Toyah Wilcox does manage to pull of a really great scene at the end, and as it turns out she is married to Robert Fripp in real life. Not that that improves watching this movie, but I like his music...

punk? not really.
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written by gabcraig January 7, 2004 - 8:28 PM PST
5 out of 5 members found this review helpful
While visually appealing and ocassionally entertaining, Jubilee ultimately fails to be anything other than merely ok. As far as it being a "punk" movie, let's just say that it was made during the punk era and had a couple of English punks in it. It's really just an art-school movie with all the cliches that one would expect from such a film. It's too bad too, because it's obvious that Jarman had a keen eye and a talent for capturing arresting images. Particularly good are the scenes of 1977 London, it was a true urban wasteland and he shows it to us in all it's ugliness & despair. The depth and power of these images needs to be seen to be understood. Unfortunately, there isn't much else to recommend in the film.

Stylish Punk Rockers
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written by BrodiesGirl June 22, 2003 - 7:03 PM PDT
6 out of 6 members found this review helpful
This movie ran like a really long punk rock video with dialogue and "plot" in between. I liked it on a stylistic level as well as some of the political messages. (examples: The sets were awesome; The evil media mogul was hilarious.)

However, I thought it dragged on a bit and pounded its message into the ground while also having some "bad" performance art sensibility sink through. (ie. "look at me! I'm shocking! I'm too pretentious for my own good!") Call me lowbrow, say I just don't "get it," but that is not appealing to me.

Nevertheless, I was glad to have rented it, if for the interesting style and punk rock music alone. Also, I thought the documentary included on the disc gave some nice insight into how the movie was made.

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(Average 5.18)
98 Votes
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