Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Derek Jarman

Not that I have visited Derek Jarman, or his studio but wandering around the landscape at Dungeness where he once lived,  I can see that this must been a source of inspiration for the film-maker, artist, campaigner and gardener. The desolation of this wind-swept peninsular has an other-worldliness about it. I imagine that the vast open landscape gives room and freedom for the introspective contemplation required to be creative, as well as the opportunity to be more aware of the nature of existence against all odds.

Jarman  paid close attention to location in his films throughout his carreer, he said of his film Sebastian 1976

"I was rather seduced by the situation and the location. The characters never really became real people. It was erotic...it had a vibrancy that was destroyed by it's academic seriousness." Gay News 23/02/79

And with his film Studio Bankside 1970 we get a very structured view of his immediate surroundings.

Studio Bankside
Studio Bankside was Derek Jarman's first film. It is a diary recording daily activity in the studio where he lived and worked, and in the surrounding streets. He shot his Super8 films without prior plans, but gave weight to the resulting images by radically slowing them down, sometimes to three frames a second, and adding music.