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Derek Jarman, Glitterbox (1985-1993)

Cast: Nigel Terry, Nigel Terry, Sean Bean, more...
Director: Derek Jarman, Derek Jarman
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Zeitgeist Films
Genre: Comedies, Drama, Foreign, Costume Drama/Period Piece, Biopics, Gay & Lesbian, British Drama, Shakespeare, Features, Experimental/Avant-Garde
Languages: English
Subtitles: English

Derek Jarman, Glitterbox: Angelic Conversation (1985)
Derek Jarman, well known for his controversial films that revisit history from a gay perspective, has retold the stories of Edward II, Saint Sebastian, Caravaggio, and Wittgenstein. With THE ANGELIC CONVERSATION, he visually explores the underlying homoerotic themes in William Shakespeare's sonnets. A collection of 14 sonnets, read by Judi Dench in voice-over, becomes a backdrop for Jarman's trademark visual collages of surreal and haunting images that explore homosexual desire. A combination of eroticism and mysticism, Jarman celebrates the senses as he revisits the postapocalyptic dreamlike landscapes that often inhabit his cinematic world. Jarman's camera, filming with a haunting ethereal quality, follows a young man as he battles the elements--caves covered in mist give way to the ocean and flames as the man seeks a lover to revel in the power of the senses. Jarman's painterly non-narrative style explores the hauntingly beautiful passages of the sonnets with a vibrant and intensely homoerotic sensibility that delights in blowing apart the status quo theories on William Shakespeare. The film is set to an amniotic soundtrack by Coil.

Derek Jarman, Glitterbox: Blue (1993)
A year before director Derek Jarman succumbed fully to AIDS, he made his last film. In Blue, the color blue is all there is to see as Jarman tries to bring the audience into his vision-impaired world. Jarman offers his insights on life, love, disease, the meaning of art, and the symbology of the color blue over a blue screen. Actors, including Tilda Swinton and John Quentin, also read from Jarman's journals and poetry.

Derek Jarman, Glitterbox: Caravaggio (1986)
Writer/director Derek Jarman injects his patented iconoclasm in this biography of Renaissance artist Michelangelo Merisa da Caravaggio. Nigel Terry plays the title role, whom (according to Jarman) essentially told his own life story in his paintings. Caravaggio travelled among thieves and prostitutes, many of whom were his models. He once killed a man, kept a deaf/mute child as a virtual slave, and squandered every penny he ever made. That we should care anything about so miserable and obscure a personality is a tribute to Jarman's filmmaking savvy--and the number of elements from his own well-publicized life that he injects into the film. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Derek Jarman, Glitterbox: Wittgenstein (1993)
Derek Jarman directed this witty, stylish biography of the life of the eccentric 20th-century philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (Karl Johnson). Wittgenstein is shown as a boy living a repressive youth, demonstrated by his family appearing in Roman togas. When Wittgenstein leaves to study under Bertrand Russell at Cambridge, he begins to investigate language and apply the strictures and constructs of language to philosophical study. The subject of Wittgenstein's homosexuality is depicted when, after World War I, he falls in love with a poor philosophy student, Johnny (Kevin Collins). Also portrayed is Wittgenstein's death at an early age from prostate cancer. ~ Paul Brenner, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Ratings

Derek Jarman, Glitterbox: Angelic Conversation (1985)
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6.00 (2 votes)
Derek Jarman, Glitterbox: Blue (1993)
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7.25 (4 votes)
Derek Jarman, Glitterbox: Caravaggio (1986)
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7.50 (12 votes)
Derek Jarman, Glitterbox: Wittgenstein (1993)
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7.67 (6 votes)

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