The Garden (1990)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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Critic Reviews for The Garden
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Audience Reviews for The Garden
The Garden is a shockingly mixed bag from Derek Jarman that contains incredible highs and baffling lows, competently repositioning gay existence within a biblical story and offering up powerful criticisms in regards to spirituality and the discrimination that gay people face while simultaneously laying out ridiculously campy satirical segments who's relation to the rest of the proceedings is tangental at best. While these are few and far between, Jarman mostly insistent on operating within a dreamscape that offers up much more compelling material for analysis, they severely damage the film's overall impact, a strangely underdeveloped commercial parody finding itself within an affecting nod to the AIDS epidemic to no great avail. These moments drastically alter the mood of the piece, the swerving from campy humor to reverent drama feeling unnatural and undercooked in a way that Jarman's films rarely do. While the work as a whole is still absolutely a bold experiment with a lot to say, it's not always a successful at communicating its message in a way that feels tonally consistent, a disappointment given the fact that Jarman is usually so excellent in that respect. Perceived faults aside (I have to watch this again at some point), it's stunning to look at and the gay couple's trajectory is devastating, making it a worthwhile experience as a whole.
The virgin mary abandons her baby, Religion is equal to paparazzi, Christ suffering is equated to persecution of gays. The imagery is both imaginative as well as incendiary
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