Blue

Blue ★★★★★

Blue is Derek Jarman's final cinematic offering. Deprived of his sight by AIDS-related complications and in the final stretches of his life, it's an immensely forthright and personal statement.

It gives only a consistent blue screen for seventy-nine mesmerising minutes accompanied by the almost hypnotising audio from Jarman, with additional voices supplied by Tilda Swinton, Nigel Terry, and John Quentin. The delightfully nonconformist Jarman recounts his experiences in much-visited hospital waiting rooms, his illness, taxing treatments, including the mixture of different drugs he was prescribed, along with his sexuality. 

He furthermore contemplates previous partners who have already succumbed to AIDS, accompanied by a score supplied by musicians from Brian Eno to Simon Fisher-Turner. It's a genuinely monumental film on HIV/AIDS and premiered months before Hollywood applauded itself for Jonathan Demme's legal drama Philadelphia. It's also the most intimate of Jarman's features and lives up to its name in the most minimalist fashion with no requirement for images. 

Aside from being a filmmaker of great originality, Jarman was also a painter, poet, prominent author, enthusiastic gardener and tireless gay rights campaigner, and Blue is a revealing and heartbreaking final gesture.

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