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Poems by Wilfred Owen
War Requiem

War Requiem

Benjamin Britten's Masterpiece

Sean Bean as The German Soldier

Portrayed without dialogue from the principal players to the accompaniment of Benjamin Britten's masterwork, the 1961 oratorio War Requiem, this film is a parade of images - brutal, exquisite, erotic, and painterly. Avant-garde director Derek Jarman presents a hallucinatory vision of war, drawing on the life and verse of WWI poet Wilfred Owen, who was killed on a French battlefield two weeks before the Armistice. Owen's preoccupations include the Christ-like martyrdom of soldiers, the interplay of sexuality and death, the pity and horror evoked by the mutilation of young bodies

The soundtrack recording of Britten's music is by the
London Symphony Orchestra with soloists including
Peter Pears and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.

This  film had its world premiere on 06 January 1989
It was broadcast on BBC2 at Easter, 1989

principal characters

Sean Bean ............ German Soldier
Patricia Hayes ....... Mother
Ronan McCullough ..... Enemy Mother
Laurence Olivier ..... Old Soldier
Nathaniel Parker ..... Wilfred Owen
Tilda Swinton ........ Nurse
Owen Teale ........... Unknown Soldier
Nigel Terry .......... Abraham

production

Produced by .................... Don Boyd
Executive Producer ............. John Kelleher
Associate Producer ............. Christopher Harrison
Directed by .................... Derek Jarman
Editor ......................... Rick Elgood
Cinematographer ................ Richard Greatrex
Production Designer ............ Lucy Morahan
Costume Designer ............... Linda Alderson
Writer ......................... Derek Jarman
From the Poetry of ............. Wilfred Owen
Music Composer ................. Benjamin Britten
World Premiere ................. 06 January 1989
Transmission.................... Easter 1989 (BBC2)
Video Running Time ............. 92 minutes (1988)

War Requiem [click for larger image]
War Requiem

 
 
What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
-Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,-
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

REMEMBER

War Requiem 1963 [click for larger image]
cover of the definitive 1963 recording

1913 - 1976
 

the Wikipedia entry

a look at the permiere performance.
to be found at the Inkpot website

an overview of the masterwork
on the Britten - Pears Foundation
website
 

Wilfred Owen 1893-1918

realted internet links
 
the poets

1887-1915

1895-1985

1872-1918

1893-1918

1890-1918

1886-1967

1878 - 1917

the poems

The First World War and
It's Literature

In Flander's Field 1919

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