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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > March 2019 > Blue ribbon

Blue ribbon

As the BFI releases a new collection of Derek Jarman’s greatest works to mark the 25th anniversary of his death, Brian Robinson looks back at the gay filmmaker’s life and career

Alchemist, magician, lover, friend, activist, poet, painter, genius — there were many sides to Derek Jarman. For a generation he was a hugely inluential, high-proile igure at a time when there were very few famous out gay men. His career as an iconoclastic ilmmaker gave him a platform which he was happy to use as a campaigner.

Jarman created a unique body of inspiring work, almost every frame as rich as a painting, from his sexy vision of Roman soldiers with a young saint frolicking by the sea in 1976’s Sebastiane (with all the dialogue in Latin) to his inal work, the experimental Blue (1993) and his posthumously released Super 8 collection Glitterbug (1994).

To understand Jarman you have to see and appreciate his ilms. It’s also important to understand that he was an artist whose life was a major part of his artistic creation. And his art was an extension of his social and personal life, bringing a talented group of friends, lovers and collaborators together with the air of an anarchic, circus ringmaster.

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About Attitude

On the cover: Dsquared2 from drag to designing for Madonna! Inside: Joel Edgerton on directing Boy Erased, the queer Brazilians resisting Bolsonaro, Syria's first openly gay actor, Owen Jones, and more.