University of Iowa News Release
Sept. 28, 2005
UI Derek Jarman Festival To Screen Rare British Experimental Films Oct. 7-9
A traveling film show featuring the work of experimental British filmmaker Derek Jarman will premier in Iowa City Oct. 7 to 9, hosted by the University of Iowa Institute for Cinema and Culture. "Derek Jarman: From A to Blue," will showcase the influential films of the iconoclastic queer British filmmaker, including newly available early work, his influential music videos for some of the most important bands of the 1980s and 1990s, and his final feature film "Blue." All films will be shown in room 101, Becker Communications Studies Building (corner of Madison St. and Iowa Ave.) Screenings are free and open to the public.
Rosalind Galt, assistant professor of cinema and comparative literature in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, initiated this show, and in the coming months it will travel to several prestigious venues across North America, including the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, Calif., the Ontario Cinematheque in Toronto, Canada, and Anthology Film Archives in New York City.
From the 1970s until his death from AIDS-related illness in 1994, Jarman was a leading figure in British art cinema. Films such as "Caravaggio" and "Edward II" developed a style that has often been compared to his contemporary Peter Greenaway, but that added queer activism and pop-cultural sensibility to visual beauty. Less well-known are Jarman's short films, which for many years have been deemed too fragile to be widely viewed, and which are only now beginning to be seen internationally.
The festival will open at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, with "Home Movies," a program featuring eight of Jarman's early 8mm and 16mm shorts including three U.S. premieres. Continuing Saturday, Oct. 8, at 3 p.m., with "The Next Life," audiences will have a chance to see Jarman's music video work including The Smiths, The Pet Shop Boys, Suede, Marianne Faithfull, The Mighty Lemon Drops, Patti Smith, Bob Geldof and Easterhouse. At 7 p.m. on Oct. 8, the festival features, "Poetry of Fire," more of Jarman's early work plus "Imagining October," a complex 16mm film about Jarman's trip to the Soviet Union. The festival ends with "Blue," a 35mm print of Jarman's final feature film, a poetic and moving meditation on the filmmaker's life, art, AIDS and what it means for a visual artist to go blind.
The series is supported by the Department of Cinema and Comparative Literature in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Institute for Cinema and Culture, UI International Programs, and the Arts and Humanities Initiative. For more information or special accommodations to attend the festival, contact Ellen Sweeney at 335-1348. Additional information about the festival will be available on the Department of Cinema and Comparative Literature website, http://www.uiowa.edu/~ccl/