Friday, 12 January 2018
Elizabeth I directs her advisor, John Dee, to summon an angel. This Mr Dee duly does, and the queen bids the holy messenger to show her a vision of England's future.
She's not going to like what she sees.
London is half in ruins, with roaming gangs of punks committing random acts of violence and robbery, or being themselves the targets of equally random violence by the police. Many of the future scenes revolve around a group of mainly female punks who have, among other criminal acts, recently mugged and murdered Elizabeth II.
About the only functional - if that is the right word - aspect of this future society appears to be the entertainment industry, and while I hesitate to use the term sub-plot in relation to a movie that is largely plotless, there are a number of scenes which revolve around the world of popular music.
Jubilee is not what I would call a "good" film, with a meandering script and dialogue that is often rather more purple than the actors can convincingly manage, but the circumstances in which it was made make it a culturally an interesting one. It was filmed at the height of the punk movement, and seems to earnestly - if not necessarily successfully, based on the response of some prominent punks of the time - attempt to reflect the attitudes and politics of the subculture. Those attitudes included a substantial dose of nihilism, and when you realise that the rubble-strewn areas of London shown in the film actually looked like that, including some areas that were still not cleaned up from World War 2, you begin to have an understanding of why some people of the time felt there was "no future".