Marking twenty-five years since his passing, & beginning on the cusp of the Autumn equinox, a new season at Close-Up looks away from Derek Jarman’s narrative works to focus on a selection of lesser-screened poetic experiments [18 to 30 SEP].
By RADIANT CIRCUS
There are two editorial truths at RADIANT CIRCUS. And they both stem from how we fell in love with the movies…
The first is that we will list any and all films that feature giant, intelligent and/or amorous apes. This keystone was forged from KING KONG (1933), an affordable home VHS title in our teens (was it the Home Video Collection that you could buy relatively cheaply at Woolworths?) and it was love at first roar. Before that had been PLANET OF THE APES, particularly the 1974 TV series that made a very early impression upon this mid-1970s childhood, but also and most importantly BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES (1970) which we adore for its utter insanity. Finally, an age-appropriate encounter with THUNDERSTRUCK! introduced an amorous ape to the mix (even if it took cucumbers off the menu…). And thus the die was cast and there have been few regrets (we even loved RAMPAGE, but that might have been because of its “BIG MEETS BIGGER” tagline…).
The second truth is that Derek Jarman is our eternal godhead. Thanks to the combined forces of the BBC and Channel 4, it was Jarman who led, like a Pied Piper with Super8 camera held aloft, a young RADIANT CIRCUS from the relatively safe streets of geeky film appreciation to the as then unexplored foothills of more experimental, artistic and, yes, profoundly queer filmmaking.
Jarman’s films have been cropping up this year, thanks in huge part to recent restorations and home cinema re-releases of his entire body moving images. As a consequence, we loved listing the Jarman season at The Prince Charles earlier this year, which gave good showing for films like BLUE (1993), CARAVAGGIO (1986), JUBILEE (1978), SEBASTIANE (1976 – co-directed with Paul Humfress), and WITTGENSTEIN (1993). Now our friends at Close-Up are continuing the celebration of Jarman’s genius, with a skew towards his more experimental films.
If we had to pick just one film in the Close-Up programme, it would be BLUE because it’s single shot of Yves Klein’s International Blue will baptise you in Jarman’s reflected light. We last wrote about that HERE when it was on display at Tate Britain in 2017.
RADIANT CIRCUS recently made pilgrimage to Derek Jarman’s Prospect Cottage in Dungeness, a road trip made with friend and member of our Founding Family, SUPAKINO aka Ranjit S. Ruprai. If there’s time, we’ll post some of the photographs we took as a special SCREEN DIARY and our own act of tribute.
CLOSE-UP ON DEREK JARMAN screens at Close-Up Film Centre (18 to 30 SEP 2019) and includes:
THE GARDEN d .Derek Jarman, 1990 (18 SEP 20:15 / 28 SEP 20:00).
IN THE SHADOW OF THE SUN d. Derek Jarman, 1981 (22 SEP 18:30).
THE ANGELIC CONVERSATION d. Derek Jarman, 1985 (22 SEP 20:00 / 30 SEP 20:15).
THE LAST OF ENGLAND d. Derek Jarman, 1987 (27 SEP 20:15).
Super 8 Film Cycle d. Derek Jarman, 1972-82 (28 SEP 18:00).
BLUE d. Derek Jarman, 1993 (29 SEP 20:00).
CLOSE-UP FILM CENTRE
Close-Up Film Centre in Shoreditch is the embodiment of London’s indie film spirit, providing a heavenly member’s library of borrowable books and DVDs as well as a well-equipped 40 seat screen and café/bar. The film programme majors heavily on director retrospectives but their one-off events by moving image artists are often our reason for going back time and time again.
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