Close Up

22 - 29 September 2019: The Angelic Conversation


The Angelic Conversation
Derek Jarman, 1985, 78 min

"A classic of experimental filmmaking by Derek Jarman – "my most austere work, but also closest to my heart." (Jarman) The images-beautiful in a grainy, unpolished way-consist of "people I like in place and spaces I like," young men in the landscape swimming at the beach, seen at windows, in the forest, making love. The soundtrack, set to music by Coil, is Judi Dench's reading of fourteen of Shakespeare's sonnets, those written to the young man." – BAMPFA

"A meditation on the pleasures of looking, here from a homo-erotic viewpoint...the film manages to resurrect through its imagery, in a way so uninsistent as to pass casual notice, an entire tradition of the cinematic avant-garde with particular attention to the homosexual sensibility enmeshed in that, and so vital to that tradition's richness... [It] feels like the missing link...between [the Eisenstein of Que Viva Mexico] and Kenneth Anger." – Walker Art Center

Part of our season on Derek Jarman