Movies

PandaemoniumA century before extravagant, self-destructive, drug-abusing rock stars roamed the earth, poets were also doing their bit to create a new utopia and...PandaemoniumDrama, HistoricalPT126MPG-13A century before extravagant, self-destructive, drug-abusing rock stars roamed the earth, poets were also doing their bit to create a new utopia and...2001-07-19Dexter FletcherSamantha MortonEmily WoofDexter Fletcher, Samantha Morton, Emily WoofUSA Films
Linus Roache, Pandaemonium

(Pandaemonium: Alex Bailey)

B+

Pandaemonium

Genre: Drama, Historical; Starring: John Hannah, Linus Roache, Dexter Fletcher, Samantha Morton, Emily Woof; Director: Julien Temple; Author: Frank Cottrell Boyce; Producer (group): Arts Council of England, BBC Films, Mariner Films, Moonstone Entertainment; Status: In Season; Runtime (in minutes): In Season; MPAA Rating: In Season; Distributor: USA Films

A century before extravagant, self-destructive, drug-abusing rock stars roamed the earth, poets were also doing their bit to create a new utopia and restructure their brain cells. Pandaemonium goes a long way toward capturing the compelling delirium of opium among a crowd of freethinking British iconoclasts. More specifically, the film, with its swoony visual and narrative style, illuminates the intensity of the friendship between William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, played by graceful, sharp-edged BBC types John Hannah and Linus Roache, respectively. (The women in their lives, Wordsworth’s bohemian sister and Coleridge’s homespun wife, are played by Emily Woof and Samantha Morton.) The madness of the relationship: Coleridge, the addict on the way to ruin, was clearly the more creative – and Wordsworth hated him for it.

The miseries of misbehaving poets in ”Pandaemonium” follows filmmaker Julien Temple’s two charged documentaries about the Sex Pistols, ”The Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Swindle” (1980) and ”The Filth and the Fury” (2000). Rebelliousness, obviously, is his discipline.

Originally posted July 19 2001 — 12:00 AM EDT

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