When I started this blog, I set a rule for myself that I’d only share films that weren’t split into multiple videos. I’m going to break that rule, because this film – Derek Jarman‘s Blue – is extraordinary. It is nothing less than one man’s self-eulogy – an accounting of his last days. Jarman, who passed away of AIDS-related illness in 1994, produced Blue as a chronicle of the ravages of AIDS and as a statement of his personal vision. It’s ironic, then, that the film contains no visuals whatsoever – merely a static blue field to serve as a backdrop for the audio. Jarman had lost his sight by the time he produced Blue, which wasn’t released until after his death.
Jarman’s dialogue is filled with all the cheek and vigor of his previous films. The spoken word passages by Jarman, Tilda Swinton, and Nigel Terry are accompanied by a number of Jarman’s usual musical collaborators, including avant garde electronica composers Coil.
Blue is an intensely personal work – meditative, enlightening, and devastating in it’s frankness and stands as a wonderful, and painful, testament to Jarman’s life and work.
BONUS: There We Are John – A Portrait of Derek Jarman