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This review is from: Blue  [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.