Words for Battle

Directed by Humphrey Jennings

The Angelic Conversation

Directed by Derek Jarman

Words for Battle and The Angelic Conversation are quiet works of contemplation whose expressionistic visual montages are backgrounded by the reading of poetry. In Words for Battle,the reader of works by Milton, Blake, Kipling and others is a young Laurence Olivier, and Judi Dench reads Shakespeare’s deeply personal sonnets in The Angelic Conversation. Jennings’ aim was the stoking of British patriotism while Jarman sought a sort of personal poeticism, but both explore the marriage of poetry and film with a masterful soft touch.


  • Words for Battle

    Directed by Humphrey Jennings.
    With Laurence Olivier.
    UK, 1941, 35mm, black & white, 8 min.
    Print source: British Film Institute
  • The Angelic Conversation

    Directed by Derek Jarman.
    With Paul Reynolds, Phillip Williamson, Judi Dench.
    UK, 1985, DCP, color and b&w, 77 min.
    DCP source: British Film Institute

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