Derek Jarman died too soon, and his loss has been immeasurable to world cinema.
I first met Derek in 1989, when he was interviewed about his work, by Richard Jobson, on a BBC lunchtime magazine program. It was a coup to get him, more so as he openly discussed AIDs, and his own HIV status, at a time when large sections of the media were spouting hatred and bigotry against the gay community. At the time, Jarman was in Glasgow for an exhibition he was presenting at the Third Eye Center, the show consisted of homophobic front pages culled from tabloid newspapers, plastered on the walls around a tarred and feathered, barbed-wire cage, inside which, two young men lay naked on a bed. The effect was powerful and moving.
The film was part of a work related project. We were asked to produce something that has or had a huge influence in our own life/lives. Derek Jarman’s work influenced my interest in queer art in the late 80s at a time when Britain was dominated by anti-AIDS rhetoric and a Thatcherite run government. My short film is composed of clips from many of Derek’s films and documentaries, compressed into a 10 minute short about his life and the difficulties people had from finding funds to show their work. Derek, being a film maker and being HIV positive was an example of the prejudice he faced in this right-wing Britain of the time.
Bonus clip of Jarman’s Super 8 footage after the jump…