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Silhouette of man in motion in front of blue screen
Derek Jarman, Blue, 1993. Image courtesy Zeitgeist Films.

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Premiered only a few months before he died of AIDS, Jarman’s final film is an intimate, poetic reflection on life and loss. Visually composed of a pure blue frame, the film’s narration is performed by Jarman and his long-term collaborators Tilda Swinton, Nigel Terry, and John Quentin. The densely layered soundtrack weaves in and out of philosophical ruminations on color to personal reflections on living with the disease in the height of the AIDS pandemic. UK, 1993, 35mm film, color, sound, 76 min.

Free tickets available at the Main Lobby desk starting at 6 pm.

Program notes and audio work by the collective What Would an HIV Doula Do? available below.

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Derek Jarman was an English film director, painter, activist, gardener, stage designer, diarist, and author. As a leader of the gay, labor, and avant-garde film communities in the UK, Jarman exposed the hypocrisy of his country’s class structure and attacked the conservative policies of Margaret Thatcher’s reign as prime minister. As a fighter for gay liberation and for the rights of people with AIDS, the disease to which he succumbed in 1994, Jarman made films that were not just artful, but also politically and socially engaged. In 1986, the Walker organized one of the first touring retrospectives of his oeuvre, Of Angels and Apocalypse. Jarman became a supporter by donating personal prints of his films to the Ruben/Bentson Moving Image Collection.

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Complementing the screening of Derek Jarman’s Blue, the Walker invited the collective What Would an HIV Doula Do? (WWHIVDD?) to contribute program notes reflecting on the film and what it means to watch this film right now.

View or Download the Program Notes.

You can also listen to the audio work Movements in Blue here.

  • Major support to preserve, digitize, and present the Ruben/Bentson Moving Image Collection is generously provided by the Bentson Foundation.

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