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Derek Jarman Films

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Derek Jarman Films

Derek Jarman

Derek Jarman studied Art at King’s College London and went on to become a painter and stage designer, and received great critical acclaim for his first work on a feature film – as Production Designer on Ken Russell’s film THE DEVILS (1970).

Jarman’s directed many experimental short films in 8mm before moving on to direct his first feature film - the groundbreaking and critically-acclaimed SEBASTIANE (1976). Shot entirely in Latin, SEBASTIANE was the first British film to feature positive images of gay sexuality, creating an international furore and subsequently great controversy with television broadasters.

SEBASTIANE was soon followed by JUBILEE (1978), which is credited as the first ‘punk’ movie, and which confirmed Jarman as a truly visionary director – and worthy of the rapidly increasing cult status  of his films. Amongst his later work, THE TEMPEST (1979), and  CARAVAGGIO have received much acclaim.

Jarman was also known for his never-ending public fight for gay rights and died of AIDS-related illness in London at the age of 52, leaving an iconic film legacy.


Producer: Howard Malin and James Whaley
Director: Derek Jarman
Starring: Leonardo Treviglio, Barry James, Neil Kennedy
Music: Brian Eno
Running Time: 82’
Year of Production: 1976

Derek Jarman’s debut film as director. A highly controversial view of the life of the martyred Roman soldier who was sent into exile, tortured and killed.

Jarman’s highly personal style pays tribute to the great classic painters of the Renaissance, demonstrating Jarman’s uncompromising cinematographic style and at the same time revealing a poetic exploration of homoerotic nudity and sexuality.

The film remains the subject of great controversy today.


Producer: Howard Malin and James Whaley
Director: Derek Jarman
Starring: Toyah Wilcox, Adam Ant
Music: Adam Ant, Toyah Wilcox, Brian Eno, Siouxie and the Banshees
Running Time: 100'
Year of Production: 1978

The film sees Queen Elizabeth I transported by the angel Ariel to a bleak England of the future where chaos reigns. Buckingham Palace has been purchased by a megalomaniac, who has transformed it into a recording studio for punk musicians. A group of punk girls pass the time with acts of mindless violence, sex and the occasional murder. Anarchy rules in modern Britain.

Here Jarman has captured the essence of the punk phenomena of the 1970s and 80s.


Derek Jarman Films
Howard Malin