With the advent of new funding streams from Channel 4, Jarman was able to realise his long-gestating, fictionalised biopic of the Baroque painter Michelangelo Merisi de Caravaggio. While being as imaginative and experimental as expected, the film was also his most beautiful and accessible work, and proved to be a modest commercial success. Sean Bean and Tilda Swinton, in the first of her many roles for Jarman, deliver fine performances as the model and partner caught up in a complex love triangle with the painter (Nigel Terry). The film brings together Jarman’s quintessential themes: the plight of the artist, homosexual love and the hypocrisy of religious authority.
Screening as part of IFI & IMMA: Derek Jarman December 3rd to 15th 2019. Click for more information.