Derek Jarman

Cast: Gerald Incandela, Andrew Logan; BetaSP da Super 8mm a 18 f/s. Bn e col

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

This programme features films from the suite The Art of Mirrors – a series of films focused on the alchemical process. The films were eventually combined into a single work entitled In the Shadow of the Sun. There are a number of works in this suite, including a three screen film. Noteworthy amongst them, as they have not been seen publicly since the late 70’s, are Ashden’s Walk on Mon, set on the island of Mon off the coast of Denmark and Death Dance – Jarman’s rendition of a Dance Macabre. Tarot is unusual, if not unique in Jarman’s oeuvre, as it uses trick photography – perhaps showing the influence of cinema designer Christopher Hobbs more than the hand of Jarman who was leery of anything too technically complicated. Hobbs also plays the magician. In the Shadow of the Sun «is one of Jarman’s major achievements of the 70s, along with SebastianeJubilee and The Tempest. The visual experimentation of In the Shadow of the Sun and the early home movies was to emerge fully fledged in the feature films of the mid 80s […] The film uses superimposition, slow motion, choreographed staging and a modernist score by Genesis P. Orridge (performed by his band Throbbing Gristle) influenced by William Burroughs ‘cut-up’ aesthetic. The effect is grating at times as the images shudder across the screen with no real purpose – a series of forms without substance. Jarman […] asserted in Dancing Ledge that the ‘first viewers wracked their brains for a meaning instead of relaxing into the ambient tapestry of random images’.» (Michael O’Pray, Derek Jarman. Dreams of England)

Karola Gramann, James Mackay