Derek Jarman

By Rowland Wymer

Derek Jarman

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-5691-8
  • Pages: 224
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £15.99
  • Published Date: October 2005
  • BIC Category: Film and Media, PERFORMING ARTS / Individual Director, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / Direction & Production, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / History & Criticism, The arts / Film scripts & screenplays, The arts / Individual film directors, film-makers
  • Series: British Film-Makers


This book gives detailed and original critical readings of all eleven of Derek Jarman's feature-length films, arguing that he occupies a major and influential place in European and world cinema rather than merely being a cult figure.

It places particular emphasis on the importance of Renaissance art and literature for Jarman, and emphasises his interest in Jungian psychology. Wymer shows how Jarman used his films to take his audience with him on an inner journey in search of the self, whilst remaining fully aware of the dangers of such a journey.

Making substantial use of Jarman's unpublished papers as well as all his published works, Wymer argues that the films are orientated towards a much wider audience than is often supposed. They are addressed to anyone, of whatever gender or sexuality, who is prepared to go on a journey in search of him or her self and to become Jarman's accomplice in 'the dream world of the soul'.


1. Introduction: Renaissance Man in search of a soul
2. 'Longing for paradise': Early life and short films
3. The dance of the sun on the water: Sebastiane (1976)
4. Anarchy in the UK: Jubilee (1978)
5. 'Our revels now are ended': The Tempest (1979)
6. 'To me, fair friend, you never can be old': The Angelic Conversation (1985)
7. 'Red is just blue screaming': Caravaggio (1986)
8. 'Where in all of this is Love?': The Last of England (1987)
9. 'Dulce et decorum est': War Requiem (1989)
10. The imitation of Christ: The Garden (1990)
11. The closet of the heart: Edward II (1991)
12. 'Still homesick for the ice': Wittgenstein (1993)
13. 'I want to share this emptiness with you': Blue (1993)


Rowland Wymer is Head of English, Communication, Film and Drama at Anglia Polytechnic University, Cambridge

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