Derek Jarman

Paul Humfress & Derek Jarman – Sebastiane (1976)

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Filmed entirely in vulgar Latin, this experimental film recounts the life of Sebastiane, a puritanical but beautiful Christian soldier in the Roman Imperial troops who is martyred when he refuses the homosexual advances of his pagan captain. When this film was released, it was the only English-made film to have required English subtitles, and it is an early film by the noted experimental and outspokenly homosexual director Derek Jarman, who died in 1994. Read More »

Derek Jarman – A Journey to Avebury (1971)

Journey to Avebury beautifully reflects Derek Jarman’s fascination with ancient history, paganism, and Celtic traditions.

An IMDB review:
Derek Jarman is often said to be a painter rather than a movie director. Indeed, with his films he makes pictures that seem to be more important than the plot (which is usually unclear or missing at all). But those pieces of art he creates using camera are beautiful and astounding. Read More »

Various – The Dream Machine (1980 – 1983)

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reviev of Dream Machine from link
Burroughs’ Dream Machine On Film… Nearly., 26 March 2004
6/10
Author: scottanthony from Dorset, England

In theory: a short non-narrative film made to commemorate the visit of Burroughs and Gysin to the UK. In practice: four shorts (directed by Jarman, Kostiff, Maybury and Wyn Evans) broken up by footage of Gysin gazing at said machine. Read More »

Derek Jarman – Jubilee (1978)

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Punks hail Britannia in their own peculiar way in this little-seen gem by the late queer auteur

Jubilee (1978), Britain’s only decent punk film, still isn’t respected at home as much as it should be, and it remains pretty obscure everywhere else. Instead, we had to wait for Trainspotting (1996) to represent some sort of renaissance in “cool” British cinema. Yet, even though it is almost 20 years older, Jubilee makes Trainspotting’s self-congratulatory, CD tie-in antics look like a polite Edinburgh garden party. Read More »

Derek Jarman – The Last of England (1987)

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Jarman is a tough filmmaker to recommend, but he occasionally rewards. As we’ve seen from practically the first film on, he sets out to make pictures entirely for himself; with each one intellectually structured, creatively shot, but almost always a reflection of his personal thoughts and feelings, his sexuality, and England in decline. Here we have a film that combines all of these preoccupations, told in a combination of wordless images and narrated prose, with little or no clarification given as to what is actually going on. Jarman has said that he wanted the film to feel like a visual poem, but really, this is far from poetic. Instead, this seems more like something that Godard would have directed in the 1970’s; angry, venomous and always seething with contempt. The images here are violent to the extreme and the approach that Jarman brings to the editing room is visceral and heavily kinetic. Here we see the use of various colour filters, tints and distortions used alongside a multitude of film stocks and spliced-in video footage. The images of middle-class households rounded up, driven into the depths of a post-apocalyptic wasteland and detained at gunpoint must have had a shocking relevance at the time, when terrorist attacks and IRA bombings were as common as they were incomprehensible. Read More »

Derek Jarman – The Tempest (1979)

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Prospero, a potent necromancer, lives on a desolate isle with his virginal daughter, Miranda. He’s in exile, banished from his duchy by his usurping brother and the King of Naples. Providence brings these enemies near; aided by his vassal the spirit Ariel, Prospero conjures a tempest to wreck the Italian ship. The king’s son, thinking all others lost, becomes Prospero’s prisoner, falling in love with Miranda and she with him. Prospero’s brother and the king wander the island, as do a drunken cook and sailor, who conspire with Caliban, Prospero’s beastly slave, to murder Prospero. Prospero wants reason to triumph, Ariel wants his freedom, Miranda a husband; the sailors want to dance. Read More »

Derek Jarman – The Garden (1990)

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Partly set against the backdrop of his coastal home in the shadow of Dungeness power station, this astonishing work from Derek Jarman is a dramatic mix of artistic set pieces and raw, often abstract footage. Yet it is more than that, for this is undoubtedly Jarman’s most religious feature, even more so than his homoerotic reworking of the life and death of the Christian martyr Saint Sebastian.

For this is a piece that finds Jarman at rest, surrounded by Christian iconography that via a series of vivid dreamlike vignettes, transpose New Testament events into a contemporary and at times homoerotic context. Taking no prisoners, he strikes out at the foundations of
political and religious homophobia by depicting in the manner of Jesus Christ, two male lovers persecuted, tortured and crucified for their beliefs and very sexuality. Read More »