The Garden (1990)

DEREK JARMAN

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5

United Kingdom/Germany, 1990.  Basilisk Communications, Channel 4, British Screen Productions, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, Uplink, Sohbi Kikaku, Space Shower TV.  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by , .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

This confusing film is strictly for diehard fans of Derek Jarman.  Less a movie and more a moving artistic collage (like many of his films), it incorporates themes of religion, sexuality and fame to make a visually striking though unfocused piece of work. Some of the scenes focus on a modern-day Madonna (that’s Jesus’s mother, not the queen of pop) who gives birth to the Savior while also avoiding the paparazzi hounding her wherever she goes. Other parts involve the grown-up Jesus wandering a landscape populated by electric wires, while still other sequences deal with a gay couple who get married and are eventually tortured and killed in the manner of a passion play. I’m sure some people out there will be offended by the joining of gay politics with fundamental Christian beliefs, but Jarman’s images never make a strong enough statement to really get under your skin. He was better at attacking Thatcherism in his masterpiece The Last of England than he does in questioning religion here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s