BFI in January
BFI have announced the UK DVD release of Derek Jarman's Caravaggio, Wittgenstein and The Angelic Conversation (1985) for 29th January 2007. All have been digitally restored and re-mastered for DVD and each with extensive and illuminating extra features. Retail is £19.99 each.
The films were made with the BFI Production Board, whose aim was to foster innovation in British filmmaking, thus providing a natural home for Jarman's artistic sensibility. These three films represent highpoints in his career and are perhaps the most enduring in their appeal and relevance to contemporary audiences.
Caravaggio (1986) - Derek Jarman struggled for seven years to bring his portrait of the seventeenth-century Italian artist Michelangelo da Caravaggio to the screen. The result was greeted with critical acclaim: a freely dramatised portrait of the controversial artist and a powerful meditation on sexuality, criminality and art - a new and refreshing take on the usual biopic.
- 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
- English HOH subtitles
- Specially commissioned interviews with Tilda Swinton, Nigel Terry and production designer Christopher Hobbs
- Feature commentary by cinematographer Gabriel Beristain
- Filmed and audio interviews with Derek Jarman
- Gallery of storyboards, production sketches and Derek Jarman's notebooks
- 18-page illustrated booklet including introductory essay by Colin MacCabe and interview with costume designer Sandy Powell
Wittgenstein (1993) - Philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein once stated that philosophy ought to be written as if it were poetry, and a poetic intensity typified his life and his work. No wonder, then, that a creative talent such as Derek Jarman should respond with such characteristic energy to a commission from Channel 4 for a film about the philosopher, written by radical literary theorist Terry Eagleton.
- 1.66:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
- English HOH subtitles
- Specially commissioned interviews with Tilda Swinton, Karl Johnson, and producer Tariq Ali
- Extensive behind-the-scenes footage showing Derek Jarman at work on set
- Filmed introduction by film historian Ian Christie
- The Clearing (Alexis Bistikas, 1994, 7 mins), a short film featuring Derek Jarman
- 18-page illustrated booklet including introductory essay by Colin MacCabe and interview with award-winning costume designer Sandy Powell
The Angelic Conversation (1985) - Intense, dreamlike, and poetic, The Angelic Conversation is one of the most artistic of Derek Jarman's films. With his painter's eye, Jarman conjured, in a beautiful palette of light, colour and texture, an evocative and radical visualisation of Shakespeare's love poems.
- 1.33:1 Full Frame
- Optional English HOH subtitles
- Specially commissioned interviews with producer James Mackay and production designer Christopher Hobbs
- Derek Jarman in conversation with Simon Field (1989, 32 mins)
- Stills gallery
- 20-page illustrated booklet including introductory essay by Colin MacCabe, Tilda Swinton's testimonial letter to Derek Jarman and photographs taken during the making of the film