Thursday, 22 March 2018

Face to Face with Derek Jarman

Derek Jarman is never far from my thoughts these days, the forthcoming BFI box will surely be, for me at least, the home cinema event of 2018. The BFI box has been delayed by a week so I’ve been trawling thru youtube for Derek Jarman related videos, and found the excellent BBC Face to Face interview Jarman recorded in 1993 before his death in February the following year. The 40min interview feels very much like a last will and testament, and sees Jarman looking back over his life in his usual erudite, and indeed honest fashion – interviewer Jeremy Issacs is perhaps a tad too preoccupied with Jarman’s sexuality at times, but Jarman discusses it and other related matters (being HIV+) with typical good cheer…

In related matters... I've been revisiting the 1995 Eno/Wobble collaboration Spinner this morning, and while it's one of Eno's better albums from an era which saw him slide increasingly into mediocrity. Despite Jah Wobble's fine contributions to the album I can't help but think of it as the poor cousin of Eno's magnificent soundtrack for Derek Jarman's final film Glitterbug, which Spinner is salvaged from (I use the word salvaged because Eno has expressed a certain indifference for the soundtrack). In fact the best stuff from Spinner is when Jah Wobble leaves the Glitterbug music alone (as in the gorgeous Garden Recalled). I'm hoping Glitterbug will be included in the BFI's second Jarman box (Artificial Eye's 2007 DVD of Blue/Glitterbug has gone OOP  clearing the way for the BFI), and it would be nice to see an optional subtitle where the various Super8 footage is annotated, similar to the original Arena screening back in 1994. I mention this because I shared a few comments recently on Facebook with the team lead on the Jarman-BFI box and requested this. One can hope !

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