Tuesday, 22 August 2006

The Libertine

The Libertine
In Laurence Dunmore's The Libertine, Johnny Depp plays John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester and scandalous Restoration poet. Rochester wrote some of the bawdiest poetry in English literature, and his life was as debauched as his art.

The Libertine, though set in the 17th century, does not follow traditional period film conventions (a la A Cock & Bull Story). It could hardly be described as a costume drama; it has none of the restrained formalities of the genre. Ornate sets are replaced by murky taverns and dark back-streets.

Also, the camera is frequently hand-held, which, combined with Rochester's atheism and amorality, gives the film a feeling of contemporariness in both style and tone.

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