He had a studio at Butler's Wharf , London, in the s. Jarman was outspoken about homosexuality, his public fight for gay rights , and his personal struggle with AIDS. His illness prompted him to move to Prospect Cottage, Dungeness in Kent, near the nuclear power station.
He was an atheist. Clements Church , Old Romney , Kent. Films[ edit ] Jarman's first films were experimental Super 8mm shorts, a form he never entirely abandoned, and later developed further in his films Imagining October , The Angelic Conversation , The Last of England and The Garden as a parallel to his narrative work.
He later made his debut in "overground" narrative film making with Sebastiane , about the martyrdom of St. This was one of the first British films to feature positive images of gay sexuality ; its dialogue was entirely in Latin.
He followed this with Jubilee shot , released , in which Queen Elizabeth I of England is seen to be transported forward in time to a desolate and brutal wasteland ruled by her twentieth-century namesake. This was followed in by an unconventional adaptation of Shakespeare's The Tempest. Praised by several Shakespeare scholars, but dismissed by some traditionalist critics, the film contains a considerable amount of nudity mostly male, but also some female, including a scene in which Caliban 's mother Sycorax breast-feeds her son , some unconventional casting Toyah Willcox as Miranda hardly suggests innocent purity and an unusual setting a crumbling mansion as opposed to an island.
During the s, Jarman was a leading campaigner against Clause 28 , which sought to ban the "promotion" of homosexuality in schools. He also worked to raise awareness of AIDS. His artistic practice in the early s reflected these commitments, especially in The Angelic Conversation , a film in which the imagery is accompanied by Judi Dench 's voice reciting Shakespeare's sonnets. Jarman spent seven years making experimental Super 8mm films and attempting to raise money for Caravaggio he later claimed to have rewritten the script seventeen times during this period.
Released in , Caravaggio attracted a comparatively wide audience; it is still, barring the cult hit Jubilee, probably Jarman's most widely known work. This is partly due to the involvement, for the first time with a Jarman film, of the British television company Channel 4 in funding and distribution.
Funded by the British Film Institute and produced by film theorist Colin MacCabe , Caravaggio became Jarman's most famous film, and marked the beginning of a new phase in Jarman's filmmaking career: Caravaggio also saw Jarman work with actress Tilda Swinton for the first time. Overt depictions of homosexual love, narrative ambiguity, and the live representations of Caravaggio 's most famous paintings are all prominent features in the film.
The conclusion of Caravaggio also marked the beginning of a temporary abandonment of traditional narrative in Jarman's films. Frustrated by the formality of 35mm film production, and by the dependence on institutions and the resultant prolonged inactivity associated with it which had already cost him seven years with Caravaggio, as well as derailing several long-term projects , Jarman returned to and expanded the super 8mm-based form he had previously worked in on Imagining October and The Angelic Conversation.
Caravaggio was entered into the 36th Berlin International Film Festival , where it won the Silver Bear for an outstanding single achievement. In , Jarman's film War Requiem brought Laurence Olivier out of retirement for what would be Olivier's last screen performance.
The film uses Benjamin Britten 's eponymous anti-war requiem as its soundtrack and juxtaposes violent footage of war with the mass for the dead and the passionate humanist poetry of Wilfred Owen. During the making of his film The Garden, Jarman became seriously ill. Although he recovered sufficiently to complete the work, he never attempted anything on a comparable scale afterwards, returning to a more pared-down form for his concluding narrative films, Edward II perhaps his most politically outspoken work, informed by his queer activism and the Brechtian Wittgenstein , a delicate tragicomedy based on the life of the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein.
Jarman made a side income by directing music videos for various artists including Marianne Faithfull , the Smiths and the Pet Shop Boys. Clement's Church, Old Romney.
Blue consists of a single shot of saturated blue colour filling the screen, as background to a soundtrack composed by Simon Fisher Turner , and featuring original music by Coil and other artists, in which Jarman describes his life and vision. When it was shown on British television, Channel 4 carried the image whilst the soundtrack was broadcast simultaneously on BBC Radio 3.
His final testament as a film-maker was the film Glitterbug made for the Arena slot on BBC Two , and broadcast shortly after Jarman's death. Other works[ edit ] This section relies largely or entirely on a single source. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please help improve this article by introducing citations to additional sources. January Derek Jarman's garden, Prospect Cottage, Dungeness, in May Jarman's work broke new ground in creating and expanding the fledgling form of 'the pop video ' in England, and in gay rights activism.
Several volumes of his diaries have been published. By pop concert standards this was a highly theatrical event with costume and specially shot films accompanying the individual songs. Jarman was the stage director of Sylvano Bussotti 's opera L'Ispirazione , first staged in Florence in Jarman is also remembered for his famous shingle cottage-garden, created in the latter years of his life, in the shadow of Dungeness nuclear power station.
The cottage is built in vernacular style in timber, with tar-based weatherproofing, like others nearby. Raised wooden text on the side of the cottage is the first stanza and the last five lines of the last stanza of John Donne 's poem, The Sun Rising. The cottage garden was made by arranging flotsam washed up nearby, interspersed with endemic salt-loving beach plants, both set against the bright shingle.
The garden has been the subject of several books. At this time, Jarman also began painting again see the book: The Last Paintings, Jarman was the author of several books including his autobiography Dancing Ledge , which details his life until the age He provides his own insight on the history of gay life in London 60's's , discusses his own acceptance of his homosexuality at age 16 and accounts of the financial and emotional hardships of a life devoted to filmmaking.
This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. January Learn how and when to remove this template message After his death, the band Chumbawamba released "Song for Derek Jarman" in his honour.
In recordlabel Black Mass Rising released a recording of the performance .