Derek Jarman: Life as Art

Directed by Andy Kimpton-Nye
2004
UK
60 mins

Derek Jarman was one of the UK's most talented, innovative, and controversial independent filmmakers, making significant films such as Caravaggio and Wittgenstein. He was also a hugely talented painter, writer, and gardener; and following his HIV+ diagnosis became an ardent activist for gay rights. He only made the films he wanted to make, giving voice to his vision of the world as a gay man, a lover of high art and Super-8. He died in 1994.

Derek Jarman: Life as Art explores the rich and colorful life and loves of Jarman through the entertaining, insightful, and thought-provoking recollections and perspectives of some of Jarman's closest friends, family, and colleagues including Tilda Swinton, Christopher Hobbs, James Mackay, Simon Fisher Turner, Nigel Terry, Tariq Ali, Peter Tatchell, and Jill Balcon.

Gorgeous looking slow-motion Super-8 shots of the contributors act as cut-aways, bringing the influence of Jarman’s stylistic look to the documentary. Clips and stills from his films and previously unseen footage of Jarman directing Wittgenstein give a clear feel for the anarchy, color, imagery, and poetry of the man and his work.

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