Sunday, December 6, 2015

#570: Blue

Directed by: DEREK JARMAN
1993, TSPDT Rank #783

It's ironic, really, that the only Derek Jarman film on the TSPDT 1,000 Greatest Films list is his final film - made while he was dying of AIDS and losing his sight. Because of this, the film's visuals consist solely of a constantly blue screen, while Jarman reads a narration detailing his thoughts and feelings at the end of his life in painfully vivid detail. While the blue screen in the film is unchanging, maybe what continues to draw people to this film is its ability to create an engrossing atmosphere with nothing but a densely-layered soundtrack (which features a score by frequent Jarman collaborator Simon Fisher-Turner, along with instrumental contributions from Brian Eno and others) and the contemplative tone established by the screen's blue grow. It is a fascinating film even just from a strictly formal standpoint, but Jarman's narration makes it one of the most personal and important films about the AIDS crisis of the '80s and '90s, as well as a poetic and dreamlike meditation on mortality.

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