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Jubilee
Reviewed by Oct 14th, 2009

This is a rather unique film with a somewhat incongrous framing device. The main part of the film is set in an England of the future, where there is little in the way of law enforcement and “sex is for geriatrics.” It begins, however, 400 years in the past, with Queen Elizabeth (Jenny Runacre) and her court astrologer, John Dee (Richard O’Brien) summoning an angel called Ariel. He shows them the future, and they run around seemingly a few steps behind the girl gang who are the main characters.
Then we meet Amyl Nitrate (Jordan), “our heroine.” With geometric makeup, a pink sweater, and a bottle of perfume, she seems a bit out of place at first, too. She’s obsessed with history, and is writing a history book. She tells us that art is dead, and that she used to dance. Then we see a sort of weird flashback of her dancing around in a bonfire.
The other main characters in the girl gang are Crabs (Little Nell), obsessed with sex; Mad (Toyah Willcox), the pyromaniac; Bod (Jenny Runacre), the leader; and Chaos, who never seems to talk.
There are also the twins, who say things like “I was 15 before I realized I was dead” and take Viv to see a garden of fake flowers. Meanwhile, the entire entertainment industry is owned by a blind nutter called Borgia Ginz. A very young Adam Ant plays Kid, a musician who puts up with Crabs just because she can introduce him to Borgia Ginz.
It’s been called a punk movie, but I’m not sure that’s an accurate description, despite the presence of various people in the punk scene in the 70s. One could make connections between this and A Clockwork Orange, except that the main characters here are mostly female. They do cause a lot of havoc and revel in the old ultra-violence though.
There are interesting moments here, and interesting themes involving media manipulation and sexuality, but it is rather long and a lot of people will probably find it boring. It does have some moments of brilliance though, such as the totally surreal “Hail Brittannia” bit and Wayne County getting strangled with a microphone.

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