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THE GARDEN

UK, 1990 (MIFF 1991)

Director: Derek Jarman

Like all of writer-director Derek Jarman's previous films, The Garden is an innovative and controversial piece of work; provocative, sensual, and highly original in its play of image and sound.

Set in the symbolically suggestive garden and surrounding headland of Jarman's Dungeness home, it takes the story of Christ and portrays it in contemporary dream allegory. Jarman sets the New Testament events against the backdrop of today's Britain, exploring his feelings about the Church's role in the current AIDS crisis, examining aspects of his own mortality (the filmmaker is HIV positive), and raising questions of ecology.

Shot on 8mm and 16mm and then edited on video before being transferred to 35mm, The Garden is a stunningly vibrant visual feast that provides the viewer with a tapestry of moods and feelings, ranging from horror to humour, from melancholy to exhilaration.

While this film is as serious as The Last of England, Jarman himself stresses its more humorous and accessible side. always the iconoclast, only Jarman would include scenes in which Judas sells the world on the idea of credit cards, and various cast members break into a rendition of "Think Pink" from the musical Funny Face.

"The religious imagery serves to open out the film, providing shared cultural meanings to which we can all relate. The cumulative effect is not negative or depressing but rather optimistic and uplifting. It is probably the most imaginative and unique British film you will see for some time." Duncan Petrie

See also...

THE LAST OF ENGLAND

Shot during the summer and autumn of "last year", this mesmerising trip into contemporary Britain's apocalyptic non future presents what is possibly filmmaker Jarman's most personal film to date ... More »

T.G. Psychic Rally in Heaven

T. G. Psychic Rally in Heaven marries abstract images of a performance by Throbbing Gristle with the ferocity and intensity of their music to brilliant effect on both eyes and ears. ... More »

The Queen is Dead

A new music film from virtuoso director Derek Jarman. ... More »

IN THE SHADOW OF THE SUN

Set designer, art director and maker of the highly successful Sebastiane. Jubilee and The Tempest. Derek Jarman has recently returned to Super 8 to produce his new films. Using a combination of old ... More »

EDWARD II

Anyone who has followed with interest the films of Derek Jarman will find cause for dehght m Edward II It seems to be the culmina­tion of everything the bold British director has been toying with ... More »

THE ANGELIC CONVERSATION

Derek Jarman is best known in Australia for his more "mainstream" features (Sebastiane, Jubilee, and The Tempest) and as production designer on Ken Russell's Savage Messiah and The Devils. He has ... More »

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