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Derek Jarman
(January 31, 1942 - February 19, 1994) U.K.

Derek Jarman

Painter, theatre designer and filmmaker


Born in Northwood, Middlesex, as Michael Jarman, the son of a Royal Air Force officer, he studied at King's College in London (1960-1963) and at the Slade School of Art (1963-1967). Jarman studied painting in the 1960s and then worked as a production designer first in theater and then on the Ken Russell films The Devils (1971) and Savage Messiah (1972).

Derek JarmanJarman was "one of Great Britain's most acclaimed directors and the leading gay filmmaker of our time." In 1986 he was diagnosed HIV positive. His death in 1994 after battling AIDS for ten years (during which he continued to create excellent films) was a loss to the creative community.

His gay-themed work includes Sebastiane ("filled with scintillating images of male bodies and graphic scenes of sex"), Caravaggio, The Garden, Edward II, and Wittgenstein. His other work includes War Requiem (based on gay British composer Sir Benjamin Britten's oratorio and starring Sir Lawrence Olivier), and Angelic Conversation (based on 14 of poet William Shakespeare's gay sonnets, reinforcing their homoerotic roots). Jarman was also an artist, a writer, a scenery designer, and a gardener.


  • Sebastiane (1975),
  • Jubilee (1977)
  • The Tempest (1979)
  • The Angelic Conversation (1985)
  • Caravaggio (1986)
  • The Last of England (1987)
  • War Requiem (1988)
  • The Garden (1990),
  • Edward II (1991)
  • Wittgenstein (1992)
  • Blue (1993)

  • Dancing Ledge (1984)
  • Kicking the Pricks
  • Modern Nature
  • Chroma
  • At Your Own Risk: A Saint's Testament (1993)
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