Derek Jarman Volumes 1-2: 1976-1994

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tenia
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Re: Derek Jarman Volumes 1-2: 1976-1994

#101 Post by tenia » Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:00 am

Not willing to be the devil's advocate, but from the customer side of things, some video releases seem to be done without communicating anything to the cast, producers or directors about the project, which they basically discover them once released or announced (like, very recently, Brick). This creates a lack of visibility between what is true oversight for the home video releases and what is just a logistic or personal result (they weren't available, they didn't want to participate).

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MichaelB
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Re: Derek Jarman Volumes 1-2: 1976-1994

#102 Post by MichaelB » Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:04 am

That's unlikely to apply to the Jarman project, given the number of people that they did track down.

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tenia
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Re: Derek Jarman Volumes 1-2: 1976-1994

#103 Post by tenia » Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:21 am

I'm quite certain of that, but I'm also quite certain that many consumers don't track this kind of things and simply reverts on their generic biased impressions (which, in here, would be "labels don't bother").

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MichaelB
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Re: Derek Jarman Volumes 1-2: 1976-1994

#104 Post by MichaelB » Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:30 am

See also that idiot who posted a one-star "review" of volume 2 on Amazon (since deleted, hopefully out of embarrassment) because it didn't have Edward II.

Although the classic in that department was the guy who reviewed an extra (as in a critical comment, not merely a description) that didn't actually exist! It had been announced, but had to be cancelled at the last minute because of the very elderly interviewee's unexpectedly poor health - but this guy was clearly going from the original announcement rather than the final specs and thought "I can't be bothered to actually watch the extras: I'll just go through this list and add a non-committal comment to each one".

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swo17
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Re: Derek Jarman Volumes 1-2: 1976-1994

#105 Post by swo17 » Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:18 pm

I finally went through all the short films included as bonuses on Volume 1. I have to say I far prefer Jarman in this experimental mode vs. the bulk of his narrative features. Sloan Square, Message from the Temple, and Psychic Rally in Heaven are exquisite but too fleeting. Much more of this please!

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domino harvey
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Re: Derek Jarman Volumes 1-2: 1976-1994

#106 Post by domino harvey » Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:27 pm

MichaelB wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 5:30 am
It's the safest imaginable bet that she was approached. But if they say no, or it's logistically impractical for other reasons, there's nothing you can do.

Powerhouse tried to get Albert Finney involved with both Gumshoe and Charlie Bubbles, but no luck: he was aware that the projects were happening and wished them both well, but made it very clear that that was all they'd get out of him.
That’s too bad, especially with his recent passing, but that sounds totally in character with Finney’s general go-his-own-way demeanor and I’m not surprised at all. I love the story about how he not only skipped the Oscar ceremony the year Tom Jones won, but reporters had trouble finding him to get a comment after the wins (and his own loss). Eventually he was tracked to a big drunken dance party on a yacht in the tropics where he was living it up and seemed oblivious to the Oscars’ existence. Upon being told Sidney Poitier had beat him for Best Actor, Finney cheered him on, instructed the entire pleasure cruise to dance their next one “for Sidney,” and otherwise had no interest in the news

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Re: Derek Jarman Volumes 1-2: 1976-1994

#107 Post by j99 » Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:49 pm

swo17 wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:18 pm
I finally went through all the short films included as bonuses on Volume 1. I have to say I far prefer Jarman in this experimental mode vs. the bulk of his narrative features. Sloan Square, Message from the Temple, and Psychic Rally in Heaven are exquisite but too fleeting. Much more of this please!
Interesting thing about Message From The Temple, is while he plays the spokesman for the Temple Of Psychick Youth, it’s not actually his voice. It was actually voiced by a Mr Sebastian, Psychic TV’s tattoist!

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swo17
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Re: Derek Jarman Volumes 1-2: 1976-1994

#108 Post by swo17 » Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:20 pm

Yes, there's a very obvious discrepancy between the audio and the movement of Jarman's mouth, which contributes to the unsettling mood

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swo17
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Re: Derek Jarman Volumes 1-2: 1976-1994

#109 Post by swo17 » Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:01 pm

As far as I can tell, these are the only Jarman shorts that can be found outside of the BFI boxes (not counting any of the Pet Shop Boys or Smiths videos). Does anyone know of any others?

A Journey to Avebury (1971) - Kino Tempest BD/Second Sight Last of England DVD/Italian Raro Super 8 DVD
Garden of Luxor (1972) - Kino Tempest BD/Second Sight Tempest DVD/Centre Pompidou DVD
The Art of Mirrors (1973) - Kino Tempest BD/Second Sight Tempest DVD/Italian Raro Super 8 DVD
Ashden's Walk on Møn (1973) - Italian Raro Super 8 DVD
Stolen Apples for Karen Blixen (1973) - Italian Raro Super 8 DVD

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zedz
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Re: Derek Jarman Volumes 1-2: 1976-1994

#110 Post by zedz » Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:03 pm

I can't think of any others, but much of In the Shadow of the Sun and Glitterbug comprise Super 8 films that used to be screened under different names, of course.

To add to your frustration, several of the interviews on Volume Two reference Imagining October (1984) as a pivotal film in Jarman's development, but it doesn't appear on either set, or anywhere else, it seems.

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Re: Derek Jarman Volumes 1-2: 1976-1994

#111 Post by DeprongMori » Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:38 am

The only one I know of is the three-song film that Jarman did for Marianne Faithfull to promote her 1979 album Broken English. Jarman’s video is included on the two-CD Deluxe re-issue of the album. I have no idea about the video quality of what’s on the CD set.

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Re: Derek Jarman Volumes 1-2: 1976-1994

#112 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:00 am

zedz wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:03 pm
To add to your frustration, several of the interviews on Volume Two reference Imagining October (1984) as a pivotal film in Jarman's development, but it doesn't appear on either set, or anywhere else, it seems.
A gallery in London did an (extremely) limited issue of five DVDs at some point. I don't know the circumstances of the film's creation, but I'm wondering if this is a Matthew Barney-type situation that precludes a commercial home video release.

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Re: Derek Jarman Volumes 1-2: 1976-1994

#113 Post by kubelkind » Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:44 pm

The reasoning behind Imagining October's limited circulation is discussed in Jim Ellis' book. I'm not sure why this is still an issue though - https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Zfc ... 22&f=false
I'm disappointed it isn't included in the BFI set too. Been wanting to see it for years. It isn't even circulating in any backchannels.

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senseabove
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Re: Derek Jarman Volumes 1-2: 1976-1994

#114 Post by senseabove » Thu Mar 28, 2019 3:07 pm

The Fanciful Norwegian wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:00 am
zedz wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:03 pm
To add to your frustration, several of the interviews on Volume Two reference Imagining October (1984) as a pivotal film in Jarman's development, but it doesn't appear on either set, or anywhere else, it seems.
A gallery in London did an (extremely) limited issue of five DVDs at some point. I don't know the circumstances of the film's creation, but I'm wondering if this is a Matthew Barney-type situation that precludes a commercial home video release.
Oh, wow. That's an edition of five. As in there are five DVDs, period. Not a set of five DVDs issued in a limited edition.
kubelkind wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:44 pm
The reasoning behind Imagining October's limited circulation is discussed in Jim Ellis' book. I'm not sure why this is still an issue though - https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Zfc ... 22&f=false
I'm disappointed it isn't included in the BFI set too. Been wanting to see it for years. It isn't even circulating in any backchannels.
I get a message that either that page is unavailable or I have reached my limit and can't see it, though the pages before and after it are still visible and I can see the position of the highlighted matches on the hidden page, but no text... Care to summarize?

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swo17
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Re: Derek Jarman Volumes 1-2: 1976-1994

#115 Post by swo17 » Thu Mar 28, 2019 3:11 pm

He filmed pages from a book that had been censored in Russia

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Re: Derek Jarman Volumes 1-2: 1976-1994

#116 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Thu Mar 28, 2019 4:01 pm

The full passage:
The film originated in a trip taken in October 1984. Jarman went to Moscow with filmmakers Sally Potter and Peter Wollen at the invitation of Peter Sainsbury, to screen some of their films. According to Tony Peake, "Jarman later said that with the single exception of his first trip to America in 1964, his visit to Russia 'had more effect on me that any other journey I've made out of this country.'" He took with him ten rolls of super-8 film, and these became the foundation of Imagining October. The first referent of the title is a visit to the study of Sergei Eisenstein, one of Jarman's heroes. Jarman writes that "Among the books Peter Wollen discovered a copy of Reed's Ten Days That Shook the World, signed 'Eisenstein, Moscow 1920'. It had been crudely censored: Trotsky's name blocked out in black ink; on this Eisenstein had based the official film of the Revolution October [released in the West as Ten Days That Shook the World]. I had been filming the flat, with the consent of Mr. Kleeman, the curator; I filmed Peter turning the pages of this book, nearly all my ten reels were now exposed." If the title indicates that the film is something of a meditation on the possibilities of revolutionary art, this early moment in the film certainly limits the optimism. (Ironically, this footage led to Imagining October itself having an extremely limited circulation, and so, because of its relative unavailability, I will be describing the film in some detail.)
I couldn't figure out why this would've had any impact on the film's distribution and exhibition until I found a related section in Tony Peake's biography of Jarman, which might also explain why the film is still out of circulation:
Since The Angelic Conversation was in line for the forthcoming Berlin Film Festival, James Mackay, who produced Imagining October for Jarman, thought it would make sense for the festival to screen the new film as well, and took it to Berlin to show the selectors. They were horrified. Even though no one had forbidden Jarman to use his camera, to film in this manner behind the Iron Curtain was, they said, utterly irresponsible; a deliberate provocation and an act which could put a great many jobs at risk: those of the people in the Union of Cinematographers, the group's guides, even Naum Kleiman. A member of the Communist Party was dispatched to view the film at Phoenix House. 'This film,' he announced, 'must never be shown.'

Jarman was so appalled to think he might harm the people who had entertained him in the USSR that, although it went against the grain to condone censorship, he readily agreed that if the film were to be widely distributed, the offending footage of Peter Wollen's finger pointing at Eisenstein's book should be cut. He accepted, too, that the slogan 'Eisenstein censored! Trotsky erased!' could be inked over, and that it was perhaps best if the film were only shown at relatively minor festivals and retrospectives, certainly as little as possible on the continent.

[...]

As long as Jarman made the suggested changes to the film, in time the BFI were prepared (even keen) to distribute it commercially. What prevented them from doing so was not fear of Soviet retribution, but the censorship of capital: the cost of clearing rights with the musicians' union for Britten's setting of 'O Rose, Thou Art Sick'.

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Tommaso
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Re: Derek Jarman Volumes 1-2: 1976-1994

#117 Post by Tommaso » Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:50 am

But all this is 35 years in the past now; and it's hard to imagine that anyone in current Russia would be offended or even in danger because of that footage. I even think that some of the people who helped Jarman at the time may not even be alive anymore. Which probably only leaves the music rights for the Britten setting as a problem, which should be possible for the BFI to solve.

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Re: Derek Jarman Volumes 1-2: 1976-1994

#118 Post by MichaelB » Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:56 am

The cost of clearing music rights is what prevented most of Jarman’s music videos from being included. And the single most expensive item in the Jan Švankmajer set was the Hugh Cornwell music video - the BFI only agreed to sanction it after I pointed out that it would legitimately allow them to include the word “complete” on the front of the box, which they thought was worth it.

So it’s an easy enough problem to solve, provided you’re happy to request that money be diverted away from other projects while explaining to your colleagues why your project is more important than theirs.

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Re: Derek Jarman Volumes 1-2: 1976-1994

#119 Post by Tommaso » Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:35 am

I see your point, but if music rights are so expensive to get, how was it even possible to release Jarman's "War Requiem" (90 min. of Britten!), "The Angelic Conversation" or "The Last of England" on dvd?

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Re: Derek Jarman Volumes 1-2: 1976-1994

#120 Post by MichaelB » Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:41 am

Presumably because the relevant rights were cleared across all media for commercial release at the time of production. Otherwise the films would have been unreleasable, and therefore unbackable.

From what I can see, Imagining October was never intended for commercial release, so the same clearances weren't made. So it's a similar situation to that which afflicts most of the BBC's twentieth-century catalogue, which is that while they're perfectly willing to license their holdings, the right to use any third-party material has to be negotiated afresh for commercial release. I suspect this is why the BFI's Ken Russell: The Great Composers set omits his films on Prokofiev and Bartók: unlike the Elgar and Debussy films, they both make extensive use of third-party footage, and of course the too-expensive Laurel & Hardy clip in the Delius film had to be changed to a similar British comedy that the BFI owned outright (something that I think worked out surprisingly well given the circumstances: the alternative was simply to hack out that entire section).

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Re: Derek Jarman Volumes 1-2: 1976-1994

#121 Post by swo17 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:07 am

Vol. 1 does remove original music from two of the extras (Jazz Calendar and the alternate cut of Sebastiane) to avoid having to clear the rights. (The latter originally featured music by Brian Eno.)

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Re: Derek Jarman Volumes 1-2: 1976-1994

#122 Post by j99 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:47 pm

swo17 wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:01 pm
As far as I can tell, these are the only Jarman shorts that can be found outside of the BFI boxes (not counting any of the Pet Shop Boys or Smiths videos). Does anyone know of any others?

A Journey to Avebury (1971) - Kino Tempest BD/Second Sight Last of England DVD/Italian Raro Super 8 DVD
Garden of Luxor (1972) - Kino Tempest BD/Second Sight Tempest DVD/Centre Pompidou DVD
The Art of Mirrors (1973) - Kino Tempest BD/Second Sight Tempest DVD/Italian Raro Super 8 DVD
Ashden's Walk on Møn (1973) - Italian Raro Super 8 DVD
Stolen Apples for Karen Blixen (1973) - Italian Raro Super 8 DVD
There’s actually another video featuring Derek Jarman as spokesman for the Temple Of Psychick Youth. It’s similar to Message From The Temple, but features different dialogue and is backed by an instrumental version of Just Drifting, the opening track from Psychic TV’s album Force The Hand Of Chance. It was originally the opening of Psychic TV’s The First Transmission video. I don’t think this ever got a dvd release, but come to think of it the original video never got an official release either, due to the subject matter.

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Re: Derek Jarman Volumes 1-2: 1976-1994

#123 Post by gap » Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:05 pm

Thank you to those who alerted to the fact that Volume 1 was OOP. I managed to get one of the last two on CEX, thankfully in mint condition.

Any Jarman I have seen was a long long time ago so I am basically coming at this as a blind buy. Is there any title that is a good place to start or should I simply go by chronology?

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swo17
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Re: Derek Jarman Volumes 1-2: 1976-1994

#124 Post by swo17 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:19 pm

Well the first film chronologically is my favorite film on here, but The Tempest is probably a better introduction to his more typical narrative style

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Re: Derek Jarman Volumes 1-2: 1976-1994

#125 Post by gap » Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:35 pm

^ Thanks. I do love a good Shakespeare adaptation so I might start with that.

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