Derek - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Derek Reviews

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Super Reviewer
January 9, 2014
Good tribute, I'm sure, but a bit slow and artsy for anyone unfamiliar with the subject.
½ June 13, 2011
a stunning portrait and tribute to one of my favourite people in the world. well done tilda and isaac!
May 3, 2011
If you're an artist, musician, et al, see this. Changed my life. No joke. :)
½ January 23, 2011
What makes this documentary valuable is the amount of love that has gone into it. It's not terribly . . . I don't know, innovative or thorough, but what is has to offer is tender and unsentimental.
June 15, 2010
Very interesting person. I had no idea about this guy, Just grabbed the movie at the library and was into it. Very interesting life. Just amazing tales to tell and what he went and lived through and his art and work. I had no idea.
June 7, 2010
Om du er interesert å vite litt mere om britisk underground filmskaper and all time wonderboy Derek Jarman, er dette filmen for deg,om ikke ,spis en is istendenfor!
July 9, 2009
Worth to see but I'm not sure if Swinton's part makes the doc any deeper.
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
½ June 9, 2009
Thankfully, "Derek" has nothing to do with Derek Jeter.(Sorry, Mets fan.) Rather, it is an endearing documentary about Derek Jarman, an iconoclastic film director who challenged the status quo both politically and aesthetically, who died of AIDS related complications in 1994. Along with clips from his films and archival footage, the documentary mostly consists of a 1990 interview with Jarman which serves as a narration on his life and work, detailing the creative and political influences on his movies. After a chance meeting with Ken Russell, Jarman, an underground artist at the time, was hired to design the sets for "The Devils"(Now, there is a movie I have to see one of these days...) which turned out to be his introduction to making movies. His political involvement in movements against Thatcher and militancy for gay rights would inform even his historical films, especially "Edward II," with Jarman's signature use of anachronisms, leaving them unstuck in time and making them relevant for all times, especially the present day from which Her Timelessness Tilda Swinton recalls their collaborations and friendship.
½ February 6, 2009
Poetic tribute by Tilda to her beloved friend Derek. Sadly missed but never forgotten.
½ January 25, 2009
The beauty of the storytelling makes it difficult to divert ones eyes from the screen. That the story is in fact a life, some parts are autobiographical, makes it all the more strong.
½ October 16, 2008
Emotional Swintons lettter to/about genious filmmakes Derek Jarman, who is defenately responsible for mudding the water in the british society. His artworks provokes more by revealing Jarmans sensitivity against world, his biographical details and feelings (by quoting monologues). Fascinated by Jarman.
½ August 30, 2008
Sharp subject, vague editng.
½ August 14, 2008
Zmanipulowane i natchnione.
I dalej dobre.
August 9, 2008
Jarman steamed through his life, determined to live out the repression imposed upon him by a sick Catholic schooling system. It is the type of repression that society imposes with all the self righteous venom of frustrated paternalism backed up by misrepresented and outdated religious dogma. The Church has been, and will always be, its own worst enemy. And yet, in a triumphant way, maybe it was the Church then, that stimulated the artist Jarman in his particular role as liberator of the homosexual psyche.

History is riddled with homosexual/bisexual artists: shakespeare, t.s. elliot, michaelangelo, passolini, picasso, dali, lorca...the list is endless....but one is never given this information when studying them at school, at university.

This documentary ?Derek? by Isaac Julian, is perceptively (though at times somewhat bitterly) narrated by a down-to-earth Tilda Swinton (The Beach, The Chronicles of Narnia, the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) an astonishing actress who has taken part in many of Jarman?s films, and who was a lifelong friend, possibly even his muse. There is much in her narration that provokes thought. The film gives us a good background to Jarman?s youth, his formative years, his parents, and his fascination with film. The documentary reveals much of what inspired Jarman filmatically, and how he was able to incorporate his influences, transforming them into his own unique vision. From the late ?60?s, his studio became a hub, a meeting place for many of London?s vibrant artists (Hockney, Kemp, Westwood, McLaren) and he was able to connect with punk, just as much as with ?high art?. Although well recognised as an artist in his own country and in his own time, the British cinema shunned him possibly because he made quality films at a fraction of their budget, and expanded British cinema without their sanction. But this is also a testament to an artist who was driven by a need to create, not by a need to be accepted in the ?right? circles. His films are a record of the spirit of a time when his fellow collaborators - Swinton in particular - were enthused and inspired by a drive to create something unique, undictated to, fermenting their own rules.

There is a brief and enlightening snippet in the documentary where a liberal MP states during the Thatcher reign:

?The measure of a Nation is the amount of freedom it affords creative intelligence.?

Jarman himself, comes across as self depreciating, almost taking himself for granted, yet never falsely modest, not afraid to admit what he doesn?t know, not afraid to reveal how he works....not afraid. He created films (using super 8) at a time when the gay scene was at its most vibrant. His films are without ?gay apology?, are beautifully homoerotic, violent at times. He was diagnosed with AIDS in 1986, a time when the illness had only just been named, becoming one of the first well known artists to publicly declare their HIV status.

I left the cinema well informed and saddened at the untimely passing of this enlightened human being. My appetite has been fully whetted to pursue viewings of his films wherever/whenever I can.
July 28, 2008
pretensjonalne, ale ?adne
½ June 30, 2008
Jarman is an artist who may have had lasting influence, but this bio is incoherent and made for a very long hour and 15 minutes of watching.
June 5, 2008
Really, some interesting and abstract ideas in this film. Not a fantastic film, but a very great one. The way that Jarman twists stories so that they are incredibly bizarre makes them all the more probable.
May 13, 2008
Intriguing portrait of Derek Jarman, centered on interviews that Jarman gave over the years (he was a very articulate as well as a conscientiously visible spokesman for gay filmmaking in the UK during the 1980s and 1990s), combined with comments (in the form of a letter) by his friend/colleague/muse Tilda Swinton. The movie is incredibly smooth, almost hypnotically so, but it's a little removed, there's not quite the pulse of great passion which was always present in Jarman's own work. That one caveat aside, this was an excepional "portrait of the artist" and an excellent new film by Isaac Julien.
April 12, 2008
Great film based around an interview with Jarman and a letter that his friend Tilda Swinton wrote to him posthumously. Gripping viewing.
½ April 8, 2008
A fitting tribute and expertly constructed piece, based around day long interview with Derek Jarman, thanks Isaac and Tilda.
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