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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly Moving, 19 Feb 2008
By 
Mrs. K. A. Wheatley "katywheatley" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blue [1993] [DVD] (DVD)
Blue was Jarman's last film. He was reaching the end of a long battle with HIV at this time and the film reflects that, with its elegaic quality. Part of his illness manifested as a loss of sight, a critical and deeply tragic thing for a man whose life was so visual and visionary. This film pays homage to that loss in that visually it is just an intense blue screen, and what we hear is most important.

Jarman had a great affinity with the colour blue, and uses the film to explore its deeper meaning and symbolism in relation to his art, his life and his impending death. The intensity of the colour and the stark lack of images, particularly coming from a man who was known for the intense beauty and collage like layering of images, particularly in his films is part of what lifts this film out of the ordinary and makes it a masterpiece.

The voices work well, blending and melting into each other to create the kind of sense perceptions you would usually expect to get from his visual work. Here, your imagination is forced to work hard to fill in the blanks, but it is well worth the effort.

The text is taken from Jarman's own diary, his work Derek Jarman's Garden and some original material. It holds together well and is incredibly moving, pushing us as the audience to truly inhabit Derek's world, if only for a short time.

A fitting epitaph and a must see for anyone interested in his work.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXTRAORDINARY, 3 Mar 2008
This review is from: Blue [1993] [DVD] (DVD)
I've little to add to the above review other than my rapt admiration of this film. It came on TV late at night and I watched it in order to receive some of the beautiful humanity of Derek Jarman. Few reviews of the film I've seen mention the music and acoustic backdrop to the words yet this sonorous static gives an extra life to what is in effect a radio play, which I say without meaning to denigrate or mis-understand the use of the symbolic blue screen throughout. As good as Dylan Thomas's 'Under Milk Wood', which shows the level of profundity of this art-film.

We lost a profound humanity with the passing away of Derek Jarman.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Under a cloudless summer sky, 7 April 2008
By 
Room For A View - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blue [1993] [DVD] (DVD)
Considering the context for this film I felt spiritually uplifted by Jarman's poetry and courageous attempt to juxtapose physical deterioration against the beauty of living and the experience of love. Some of his films (e.g. Angelic Conversation and Last of England) provide only a fractured narrative and fragmentary imagery but offer a cohesion that makes the whole feel like a transcendental meditation unsurpassed in the history of film. Blue goes one step futher and leaves it to the viewer to ponder a blue screen and wonder 'what if....'.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poetic, 21 Dec 2010
This review is from: Blue [1993] [DVD] (DVD)
Previous to watching 'Blue', I was quite unfamiliar with Derek Jarman's work. I possessed a vague idea of the nature of his films, but had never taken an interest in gay cinema and so dismissed his corpus out of hand. However, as I have a deep interest in experimental film, I suppose it was only a matter of time before I had to watch this film.

'Blue' is an experience that is not soon forgotten. The film is inspired by Jarman's then impending death from AIDS related complications, focusing in particular on the detrimental effect the illness had upon his sight. I found 'Blue' profoundly moving, poetic and often uncomfortable to endure. The 'film' comprises of a single shot of saturated blue, with atmospheric and ambient music, as well as Jarman's poetic musings and reflections.

The still blue recreates the artist's loss of sight, allowing the viewer to gain a greater understanding of Jarman's affliction. However, during the course of the film, Jarman does distinguish between 'sight' and 'vision'. The director's sight is gone, but his vision remains- his inner-vision, his poetic vision. Ours too remains. As the viewer stares into the deep blue, the mind projects new images into the seemingly inescapable, unrelenting blueness, the mind often turns inward producing vivid images of the coastal walks, cafes and hospitals detailed by our narrator. The blue becomes an infinite sea that drowns the calls of deceased lovers and friends, it becomes the calm and serene skies above and the womb-like security of our own 'terrestrial paradise', our blue planet.

It is fascinating and heart-rending to experience a man confronting his own mortality in the naked and unflinching way that Jarman does. There are too many beautiful and profound moments for me to pick out soundbites.

Please watch.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Realistic, poignant, but also anecdotic, 2 July 2014
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This review is from: Blue [1993] [DVD] (DVD)
The film is not a film. It is a radio show. Derek Jarman is dying of AIDS and he tells us how he sees his disease and his coming death. For him the color is blue, because blue is the sky, it is absolute limitless space and it is the perfect color for going to the other side of the gate or door or portal you have to cross on your last breath. After that point you do not need to breathe any more.

The story, if it is a story, is poignant but told on a rather desultory tone and with as much poetry as possible. He explains what this disease means for him and probably for many others in his case. He repeats the names of the men he has loved and who may have infected him or who he may have infected. Sad and tragic that love led to death. I say love and I follow Derek Jarman on that term, but in fact it was not love. It was sexual intercourse and most of the time nothing much more in those post 68 years when everything was possible and everyone was doing it. Well everyone, not, really, but many considered promiscuity as a norm and bisexuality as a must.

As Derek Jarman says he has to resign himself to the disease and the coming death. The drugs used in those years were very experimental, had tremendous side effects and were nothing but tinkering about with what doctors had under their hands and fingers and research went very slowly, when it was funded, which was not the case everywhere in the world.

And then Derek Jarman has to come to terms with his life, what he had done, what he would have done, what he did not do, and he has to build a balance sheet of his work: has he achieved enough for his films to survive his own death? Probably, though some of these films are aging rather fast. And then he has to push suicide aside and he has to cope with the pain and try to find some peace of mind to move on and pass to the other side in serendipity. And his telling his last moments of consciousness on this planet must have helped him to find some catharsis with death.

Apart from that the radio show that is behind this constant blue screen is a testimony of a social and human situation and it is nothing else. The testimony is done with great talent but it is being carried away by the wind of time. The situation does not have any duration in itself. It is already in the past for the countries where safe sex is a real objective and the present treatment is available. It will not cure you but it will give you a more or less normal life for quite a good number of years.

But it remains necessary to revisit what it was in the past not to slacken our efforts to find a real cure.

"Glitterbug" is only a montage and collage of tit bits from Derek Jarman's personal super eight and video documents he left behind after his death. This film is a testimony about him and his work and life in order to pay our respects to the departed filmmaker.

Apart from that dimension the film does not really bring anything new about the man or his films. And since it was not professional camera work, it is not even comparable to his work. So this documentary gives us an intimate vision of the man and the people around him and this is a good thing to give some human depth to a man who went away too fast.

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glitterbug, 8 July 2012
By 
jim br (London, uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blue [1993] [DVD] (DVD)
As well as being a professional film maker, Derek Jarman also kept a Super 8 film diary. Glitterbug is assembled from these diaries and shows the places he lived, behind the scenes at work and the friends he knew. Hugely nostalgic and beautifully paced there is no dialogue - just a wonderful, wonderful sound track by Brian Eno. This Short film alone is worth the price of the DVD.
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Blue [1993] [DVD]
Blue [1993] [DVD] by Derek Jarman (DVD - 2007)
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