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The Films of Derek Jarmanby William Pencak
Synopses & Reviews
Derek Jarmans films explore the possibilities and limitations of same-sex love and self-expression during various historical eras, ranging from ancient Egypt to present times. His work covers a millennium of sexual repression and efforts to escape this repression. Jarman provides us with a cinematic history of people whose homoerotic passions had a major impact on western civilization in religion, art, politics, philosophy, and war. This book provides historical background information on each of Jarmans fifteen scripts and films. The chapters are "program notes" to his films from a historical perspective. An interpretation of Jarmans intentions, gleaned from the directors writings and writings about him, is also provided. This work reveals Jarmans importance as a keen student of the limits of historical knowledge, and delineates the role of history in inspiring change or preserving inertia in the present struggle against homophobia.
Book News Annotation:
Fans of the filmmaker will welcome this thoughtful and scholarly volume on Jarman's bold approach to making historical films. Pencak (history, Pennsylvania State U.), who argues that Jarman's work constitutes a concerted critique of the role of history to enforce a conservative status quo, provides an introduction to Jarman's life and career then discusses his presentation of history and historic figures in each of his films.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Includes bibliographical references (p. 197-198) and index.
Table of Contents
Introduction — Akenaten: a queer pharaoh? — The garden: the relevance of a queer Jesus — Sebastiane: early Christianity and the Roman Empire — Edward II: from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance — Caravaggio and the Italian Renaissance — The angelic conversation: queer Dee and Shakespeare? — The tempest: from the Renaissance to the present — Wittgenstein: the grey flame and the early twentieth century — War requiem: the long shadow of the Great War — Jubilee without John Dee?: modern times — The last of England: modern times revisited — Neutron and sod'em: possible futures — Blue: "our time is the passing of a shadow" — Afterword: imagining October.
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