rushthatspeaks: (Default)
[personal profile] rushthatspeaks
After yesterday I wanted something I knew I would like.

This is the least of the Jarman I've read so far, since a lot of it is collected interviews, which means that some of the material repeats itself and some of the interviewers ask really stupid questions. (e.g.: Interviewer: You were telling me why you don't regret no longer being promiscuous-- Jarman: No, you were telling me why I shouldn't regret no longer being promiscuous.)

Also, more than his diaries this is a set of meditations on the films he was making at the time of writing, as opposed to about his personal life, and I have not yet seen the films of this period, post-Caravaggio and pre-Edward II. The principal one of these films is The Last of England, and it is clear that a) Jarman considered it his masterpiece and b) it tongue-tied him, he couldn't talk about it, he said what he had to say in it and when trying to explain it he goes into sentence fragments and heaps of broken images and bricolage of Ezra Pound and William Blake in a blender. It's very entertaining and ludicrously erudite but I have no idea what he means. Maybe after seeing it those chunks of book will make more sense, but I am not betting on that.

But around the edges there are some lovely things, descriptions of things he likes and doesn't about other directors, of a trip to Moscow and south to the Caspian Sea, of the experience of the couple of times he acted in films instead of directing them (both times playing real people, a painter he knew and a director he admires: I may have to hunt down the film in which he plays Pier Paolo Pasolini, being buried in a muddy desert at four in the morning).

So. Not a book for people unfamiliar with Jarman as a director, or possibly even as a writer. But I liked it. It has all his facets, rage and irony and humor and endless benevolence and brilliance.

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