Blu-ray, DVD Release: The Last of England

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: July 24, 2012
Price: DVD $24.95, Blu-ray $29.95
Studio: Kino Lorber


The Last of England movie scene

Tilda Swinton brings her ethereal presence to The Last of England.

A highly stylized vision of 1980s Britain, the 1988 experimental cult drama The Last of England is one of the late British filmmaker Derek Jarman’s (Caravaggio) most personal films.

Tracing the decline and fall of Britain as seen from the vantage points of London and Belfast, Jarman creates a mosaic using old home movies, newly shot hand-held 8 millimeter photography, erotic imagery, scenes of war and urban decay, newsreel-style footage and a barrage of familiar music and street sounds. Edited together along with the nearly wordless presence of such performers as Tilda Swinton (The Man from London) and Matthew Hawkins, the overall effect is quite apocalyptic-looking.

Quite a powerful piece though obviously not for everyone, the unrated Last of England was first seen in the U.S. at the New York Film Festival in September, 1988. In the nearly 25 years since its production, the film has popped up at various fests and in various sanction and unauthorized VHS and DVD editions. It was last issued on DVD (legitimately) by Image Entertainment in 2005, but has since gone out of print.

The movie’s remastered release on Blu-ray represents its high-definition debut.

No bonus features have been announced for the release.

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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.