Today marks the anniversary of the death of the great English filmmaker Derek Jarman (1942-1994). Andy Kimpton-Nye’s 2004 documentary Derek Jarman: Life As Art attempts a comprehensive chronicle of the man’s life and work through extensive interviews, archival material, narration, and other traditional techniques. As nonfiction portraiture, it’s a fairly standard work, but it provides a wealth of information about Jarman with an intimate perspective and a welcome dose of personal insight from the contributors.
Tom Charity describes the film for Time Out:
Impressive new doc tracing Jarman’s life and (film) work, as recounted by friends and family. Interviewees include his sister Gaye Temple, his biographer Tony Peake, Tilda Swinton, Ron Peck, Nigel Terry, Peter Tatchell and Simon Fisher Turner. Super 8 interludes convey some of the textures of the films and there are some lovely photo-montages from all periods of his life. It was news to me that he considered both David Bowie and Terry Thomas for the part of Ariel! It’s thorough and engaging and makes an excellent introduction to Saint Derek’s world