Internet Shakespeare Editions

Shakespeare in Performance: Film

The Tempest: by William Shakespeare, as seen through the eyes of Derek Jarman (1980, Derek Jarman)

TitleThe Tempest: by William Shakespeare, as seen through the eyes of Derek Jarman
Release LocationsGB
DirectorDerek Jarman
MediumColor video
Length1 hrs, 36 mins
Audiencecollege and university
general public
Play ConnectionsThe Tempest (interpretation)
SeriesBritish Film Now, New York City


Shown at the New York Film Festival in September 1980, the film opened commercially in the USA at Cinema 3, New York City, on Sept. 28, 1980. In evaluating it, one should note Jarman's subtitle, "as seen through the eyes of." This is a daring and creative appropriation of the subtext of The Tempest, not a film for those who prefer that the text on the screen literally capture the text on the page. High school teachers should avoid ordering this R-rated film for student viewing, unless they enjoy sparring with outraged parents. The breast feeding of a full-grown Caliban by his sow of a mother, Sycorax, is surely one of the most revolting spectacles ever filmed. Jarman's most recent film, The Last of England (1988), was shown at the National Film Theatre in London and again at the 1988 New York Film Festival. His vision of western civilization on the brink of apocalypse informs not only this film about a decaying Britain but also his treatment of The Tempest (KSR)

Description from Shakespeare on Screen : an International Filmography and Videography by Kenneth S. Rothwell and Annabelle Henkin Melzer. ©1990 Kenneth S. Rothwell. Cited by permission. — Added 2008-11-14

Cast Overview

CalibanJack Birkett
AlonsoPeter Bull
ArielKarl Johnson
AntonioRichard Warwick
GoddessElisabeth Welch
MirandaToyah Willcox
ProsperoHeathcote Williams

Production Team and Crew Overview

DirectorDerek Jarman
ProducerDon Boyd
ProducerGuy Ford
ProducerSarah Radclyffe
ProducerMordecai Schreiber
EditorAnnette D'Alton
EditorLeslie Walker
ComposerWavemaker-Brian Hodgson
ChoreographyStuart Hopps
Adaptor/TranslatorDerek Jarman
CostumesNicolas Ede
SoundJohn Hayes
Sound EditorSarah Vickers
PhotographyPeter Middleton
ProductionYolanda Sonnabend
ProductionIan Whittaker

Production information courtesy of: Kenneth Rothwell