All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
His passion came with a price.
As influential Italian artist Caravaggio dies in exile in 1610, he recalls his short life, from his childhood to his initial artistic failures to his later triumphs as he catches the eye of a sympathetic cardinal to his destructive relationship with a dashing gambler.
The artist as bridge between high and low, engaged in bisexual bacchanal and bringing in vagrants and prostitutes to pose for religious paintings (which, ironically, brings them closer to Jesus' teachings that the paintings are meant to impart). A bit straightforward compared to what a trip JUBILEE was, but its pointed view of how the most beautiful artists can have connections to the least regarded elements of society is as intoxicating as its Caravaggio-esque composition.
My first experience of Derek Jarman’s work was a late night discovery of The Tempest on Channel Four. I was pretty young and couldn’t follow much of it. But it had Toyah Willcox in it – and I was a fan in those days. I can’t remember much about the film, but some of the images from it have stayed with me. So there is definitely something compelling about how Jarman constructs an image.
I’ve seen a few of his films now, but I haven’t ever warmed to him as a Director. I always have high expectations, but his films never sustain my initial interest. Fascinating for a half hour, I often feel disinterested by the end. He certainly has…
Caravaggio stands as a more fulfilling, more poetic and over all more artistic ambition for Derek Jarman in crafting an unconventional biopic (in this case, purely fictionalized) of a real life artist/ historical figure compared to a more troublesome viewing for me personally in Wittgenstein about the famous philosopher. I won't contrast and compare anymore than that but Caravaggio certainly has a distinct vision and artistic merit to showcase that really appealed to me.
It still remains highly unconventional and even experimental in many regards when considering its membership to the biopic category of filmmaking. Funny enough, something that initially bothered me regarding this film almost like a pet peeve but slowly grew on me more throughout was Jarman's intentional…
Derek Jarman is an artist I have yet to explore, whereas Caravaggio is an artist I'm familiar with, and quite fond of. The 17th century Baroque painter, whose life Jarman has chosen to capture through the cinematic medium, was a man of eccentric, capricious action. He challenged the church's establishments, was as frank about his bisexuality as the law allowed him to be, and murdered his own best friend. It is intriguing, and some will likely suggest this is the heart of Jarman's film, how there appears to be a rigid dichotomy between the perceived nature of Caravaggio's work and that of his actions in the figurative eye of society; however, as we progress through the our titular character's life,…
The notorious painter Michelangelo Mersi da Caravaggio is lying on his death bed, and he recalls his life. A life filled with love, obsession and art. The struggle between life and art, and the struggle between love and lust. Caravaggio is a man that tries to make sense of it all, and we will see flashbacks of his life as he is muddle-headed with fever. From how he was discovered as a young talented painter, and ending up in a love triangle.
The ambition was truly high in Jarman's Caravaggio, and the effort pays off. Aesthetically, that is. The art and the artist became film, the film became art. But I'm sorry to say the love story weren't as engaging…
A great film about how life can not only inspire art, but also imitate it in turn. It's strange to think that a biopic whose content deliberately veers away from any biographical accuracy can be as effective and fantastic as this. With all the re-enactments of Caravaggio's paintings throughout the film, it's as visually sumptuous as 'Barry Lyndon' a decade before.
how can you make every frame like an oil painting
Not the most accessible film for me, but as a big fan of Caravaggio, I thought the visuals were fantastic (particularly the recreations of his paintings). I'd probably have preferred a more conventionally straightforward biopic but this was an interesting watch.
Finding out that the anachronisms were to parallel those in Caravaggio's work made me appreciate them a whole lot more.
Also, young Sean Bean. Mmmm.
Mercury invented the arts with an act of theft.
I love when a filmmaker visually construct artist biopics in the style of the artist. Much like Mike Leigh's Mr. Turner this film's lighting and production design is entirely true to the style of the artist whose psyche they explore. Every frame feels like a tableau by baroque artist Michaelangelo Caravaggio. It's exquisitely done with haunting colors and the frame highlighted in the most interesting ways. What better actors to become live action baroque paintings than the wickedly handsome Sean Bean in his prime or a fresh-faced Tilda Swinton in her first role on film?
Derek Jarman's direction is incredible in this film. So many bold choices are…
really pretty (personally i needed subtitles bc of the accents)
i liked the poetic narration.
Beautiful compositions and an intriguing take on the period, but airlessly paced and less than the sum of its parts.
I can only presume that up until the release of Caravaggio, Derek Jarman was rather a niche concern in the British film industry. Too arty, too political, too queer to be considered viable as a film maker to be peddled with too much enthusiasm. Caravaggio was a surprise hit. Reading Jarman's reaction to the success of this film, it seems that he had exactly nil interest in being peddled, enthusiastically or not. The process of delivering a film as structured and as polished as Caravaggio was not to Jarman's liking. It basically wreaked havoc with his artistic output over the seven years it took to complete, something that didn't sit well with the director's profligate need to create.
Theatrical, high brow and tiresome.
I didn't learn a great deal from this "biopic" of the acclaimed painter, and it seemed to focus more on the look of the film than about the subject matter.
Whilst being set in 16th Century Italy, the modern world creeps in at various intervals. At one point a holy man uses an electronic solar-powered calculator, and Sean Bean gives us his thickest Yorkshire accent.
Most biopics are far too preoccupied with hitting every checkpoint of a famous figure's life and achieving historical accuracy. Derek Jarman's Caravaggio thumbs its nose at such conventions, preferring instead to make the eponymous painter's artwork and distinctive style the focal point.
Caravaggio eschews conventional narrative structure, opting for a more free-form approach. Without implementing much exposition, the film moves non-linearly, jumping around to different points in Caravaggio's life, at times giving events little more than a cursory glance. Some viewers may find Jarman's barebones screenplay wanting, but it did not hamper my enjoyment of the film. When watching Caravaggio, it does not take long to realize that story is of secondary importance.
Far more significant is the masterful cinematography…
Filled with Jarman's signature stylistic flourishes (period idiosyncrasies, minimalist production design, plenty of gratuitous nudity) and compellingly low-key, Caravaggio is a artfully-made meditation on the nature of the artist and how they draw inspiration from their own lived experiences.
This list is the Letterboxd version of The Oxford History of World Cinema.
The book celebrates and chronicles over one…
All the films mentioned by name in Kim Newman's definitive encyclopedia of horror films, Nightmare Movies. Well worth a read.…