Thursday, 11 November 2010

"I place a delphinium, Blue, upon your grave" - Derek Jarman's BLUE

As part of CineCity 2010, Brighton's own film festival (one of the patron's being 'the other man in black' Nick Cave), there will be a screening of Derek Jarman's last film, BLUE, with a live soundtrack by Simon Fisher Turner and a narration by by poet and musician Black Sifichi.

The performance will take place on World Aids Day, 1st December, 6.30 p.m. at the wonderful Duke of York's Picture House.
More details on this event here on the CineCity website, some copied here:

BLUE, Jarman’s most personal and experimental film was made just a year before his death in 1994 from AIDS. By this stage treatments for the virus made him see everything through a blue haze, prolonging his life but destroying his eyesight. Though his final work, the idea of a film inspired by Yves Klein and the colour blue was something Jarman had explored throughout his career.

The viewer is immersed in a field of blue light, pure cobalt blue, to fully focus on the soundtrack as Jarman free associates around the artistic, philosophical and metaphysical meanings of blue — sky, water, flowers, a boy named Blue, sadness, the infinite — connecting them to his life and body of work.

As the blueness of the screen seems to pulse, the evocative sound collage from longtime musical collaborator Simon Fisher Turner — gongs, Berlin techno, footsteps walking on a windswept pebble beach — transports us through the daydreams and reflections of a dying man. The sound design provides the film’s narrative, its pictures and its emotional core. The ending is a beautifully pitched meditation on life’s swift passing:

Our life will pass like the traces of a cloud
And be scattered like
Mist that is chased by the
Rays of the sun
For our time is the passing of a shadow
And our lives will run like
Sparks through the stubble
I place a delphinium, Blue, upon your grave.

Jarman's last book was also on the subject of colour, and written around the time the film was made, entitled CHROMA. It is a kaleidoscopic, intelligent and fractured essay on colour(s), highly subjective and resembling an elaborate notebook or a pre-cursor of a blog. I found this fitting quote in it, which might partly explain the film BLUE:

"I've placed no colour photos in this book, as that would be a futile attempt to imprison them. [...] I prefer that the colours should float and take flight in your minds."