Pandemonium review

Having made his name filming the Sex Pistols, Julien Temple continues to be drawn to radical artists of all persuasions. Vigo charted the tragic life of the great French film-maker, and here Temple extracts an impassioned melodrama from the relationship between the 19th-century poets William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

In Temple's hands there are close parallels between Pistols' Sid Vicious and Johnny Rotten and the two scribes, whom he portrays as the pop stars of their day. Coleridge also shared with the Pistols a fondness for drugs, in his case opium. Linus Roach plays him as visionary and naïve in equal measure, while John Hannah gives one of his sour-faced turns as the dull Wordsworth, latching vampirically onto the other man in search of inspiration.

But Emily Woof, as his sister Dorothy, steals both the boys' thunder as the spunky, sexy groupie who has the hots for Sam. The result is both involving and visually impressive.


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