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Derek


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Product Details

  • Actors: Tilda Swinton, Derek Jarman
  • Directors: Isaac Julien
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: KINO INTERNATIONAL
  • DVD Release Date: September 2, 2008
  • Run Time: 145 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001BDZR26
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #352,819 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

INCLUDES CLIPS FROM 17 DEREK JARMAN FILMS

Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton personally conducts an intimate cinematic commemoration of the life, times, and work of UK filmmaker, artist, and renegade Derek Jarman in Derek. Isaac Julien s (Young Soul Rebels, Looking for Langston) documentary blends together vintage clips from Jarman s groundbreaking experimental theatrical works and 8mm films, never-before-seen footage from the sets of his Queer Cinema milestone Sebastiane and punk film landmark Jubilee, and revealing interview footage shot shortly before Jarman s death in 1994. In his own words and the words of those who knew him best, Derek reveals Jarman s religion-scarred beginnings and his ascent in the vibrant UK counterculture of the 60s and the London punk scene of the 70s. Also covered, his eight film collaboration with muse, companion and collaborator Tilda Swinton, the influential music videos made with The Smiths and The Pet Shop Boys, and Jarman s contributions to a British art scene he helped to redefine. Both a heartbreaking and giddily alive biopic and an accomplished homage (Art Forum), Isaac Julien s Derek is a joyful requiem celebrating Derek Jarman s life, vision and legacy with the same maverick energy and affectionate creativity that made its subject one of the most important artistic mirrors of his time.

DVD EXTRAS:

- An Introduction by Producer Colin MacCabe
- The Extended Derek Jarman Interview (1991, UK, 69 minutes)

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I consider Derek Jarman's films some of the greatest of film output from Great Britain. I'm a fan of avant garde films and Derek's are some of the best. So, to say the least, I was incredibly eager to see this documentary. It did not disappoint! Tilda Swinton does an amazing job as the host/narrator of this documentary. The first 10 minutes or so are done in an avant garde style and may put some people off. However, once it gets past that, the documentary is quite cohesive and tells the amazing story of Derek Jarman's life and films. Incredibly lush and full of interesting tidbits about Derek and his films. I highly recommend this for any Derek Jarman fan, Tilda Swinton fan or fans of avant garde cinema.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Vampire Truth on December 7, 2008
Format: DVD
Writer/narrator Tilda Swinton's valedictory essay on the friend whose death she's never gotten over is a moving testament to the enduring power some lives exert on others. Framed almost as a pessimist's argument with a departed optimist, DEREK is simultaneously a celebration of Derek Jarman's exuberant, political and innovative oeuvre and also much more than just a career overview of a gay provocateur's fascinating cinematic and personal journey. Director Isaac Julien does a fine unfussy job, showing a subtle awareness that his true resources are Swinton and the unbelievably sharp, gregarious and generous Jarman himself, who had the foresight to commit his memories and views to videotape before his premature death during the early stages of the AIDS crisis. A reminder of a type of cinematic adventure the corporate production system of today rarely allows for, DEREK will move you to cheers and tears for things lost and things remembered.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Grigory's Girl on June 7, 2009
Format: DVD
Derek Jarman was one of the most unique, artistic, and criminally neglected British filmmakers ever. He's hardly ever mentioned when British cinema is mentioned, yet his films are some of the most beguiling, fascinating, and moving films that the U.K. has ever produced. Jarman was also a painter, a writer, and a political activist. He was openly homosexual, and he campaigned for gay rights during a time when it wasn't hip to do so. He was part of Outrage, an English gay rights organisation. Sadly, Derek Jarman passed away from AIDS complications in 1994, leaving behind a massive amount of stunning work that hasn't dated at all. It's nice to see someone finally make a documentary about Derek, as he deserves to be better known, but the documentary is really only for those who are already familiar with Jarman's work (like me).

The film is very good in that it consists of mostly home footage of Jarman, his family, his home movies, clips from his films, and a long interview segment that is edited throughout the film. Jarman comes across as a really wonderful, witty, and artistic man (which he was). The filmmaker lets Jarman speak for himself, which I like very much, but the segments with Tilda Swinton are very dry and borderline dull. I find it rather sad that the director didn't do more with Tilda, as Tilda was one of the producers on this film and also wrote and narrated it. It was Derek Jarman who really discovered her, and it's apparent than Tilda still misses her mentor very much. Many entertainment reporters never mention that Swinton got her start when Jarman cast her in his films. Jarman is quite extraordinary in that I have never heard a bad word spoken about him by anyone.
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Format: DVD
This documentary tries to evoke Derek Jarman in his own time. It mostly uses excerpts from a few films (17 they say) and footage from Derek Jarman's own personal video and 8 mm library, mostly in this latter case what was used in Glitterbug. It also uses footage from an interview he gave at the end of his life before he was taken sick and some short sequences of him in his sickness. It also uses footage from various archives and sources about the fight of gays and lesbians in Great Britain to get rid of the segregationist rejection they were the victims of up to rather recently.

The documentary starts with some images from Derek Jarman's infancy with his parents and family. The text accompanying these images is by Tilda Swinton, narrated by the same with some images of her in Present day London or at Derek Jarman's cottage.

It sure is a tribute to the memory of this film maker, and it is deserved first because of his active participation in social issues like free sexual orientation as well as the more general question of social segregation. But the main interest is not at this level. The documentary enables us to define Derek Jarman as different from most film makers of his time. They used cinematographic technique along with a cinematographic vision. They were, and still are, contained, and some might say narrowly contained, in the film industry, the film technology and the film narrative genre.

Derek Jarman is at heart and in the deepest convictions of his mind a visual person who sees the world with the eyes of a painter and he makes his films with such an orientation, that has nothing sexual this time: he is painting the screen with his camera and editing bench.
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