Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Derek Jarman: Life as Art

Roxie Theater

Co-presented by San Francisco Cinematheque, Visual Aid, and Frameline

Repressive postwar England was not the ideal place for a boy with an unbridled imagination to come of age. Nor was London in the ’60s a warm and welcoming milieu for a gay man. Yet Derek Jarman wasn’t bullied by his environment so much as inspired by it. Sure of his talent and energized by his outsider status, Jarman made bracingly original films that waged full-frontal war on conformity, narrow-mindedness and ugliness. Director Andy Kimpton-Nye eschews an exhaustive analysis of Jarman’s life and oeuvre (which could never fit into sixty minutes, anyway) to proffer a breezy survey of the director’s childhood and a joyful appreciation of his career. In lieu of Jarman’s own words, we are treated to the witty and insightful reminiscences of collaborators including actors Tilda Swinton and Nigel Terry and producer James MacKay.

Their droll recollections, alongside glimpses of such landmark Jarman films as Sebastiane (1976), Caravaggio (1986) and The Last of England (1987), comprise a vivid portrait of the artist as experimentalist and smiling provocateur. One of cinema’s great radicals, Jarman transmuted his sexual and political concerns into fabulous art. His contribution was not limited to the screen, however; Jarman made his AIDS diagnosis public in 1986, galvanizing Thatcher’s England.

The program will conclude with Jarman’s 1984 short film, Imagining October.

Frameline30, the 30th San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, screening June 15-25 at the Castro Theatre, Roxie Film Center, Victoria Theatre, Cinearts@Empire, and the Parkway Theatre is the oldest and largest event of its kind in the world. Tickets go on sale to Frameline members Friday, May 26. General public ticket sales begin Friday, June 2. Tickets are available at Superstar Satellite video store located at 474 Castro Street (between Market and 18th Street in San Francisco), online at www.frameline.org/festival, by phone at 925 866 9559 and by fax at 925 866 9597.