Violet’s review published on Letterboxd:
So I finally reached the milestone of having watched 1,000 films and I couldn't have asked for a more perfect choice then Derek Jarmans Blue. This is a film I have been looking forward to watching for several months now and I figured this was finally the right time. Over the past month or so I've been getting familiar with Derek Jarmans other films, which are very much worth watching btw, I think this added to the experience. I got to get a feel of his vision displayed in his other work, and how it works. Seeing Tilda Swinton in his other films for example really felt like her inclusion in Blue to be a very personal choice by Jarman. I also took the time to watch the interviews of Jarman that there are, getting to know the man, and establishing a personal admiration for him. I'm so glad I did all that prior to watching Blue cause it only seemed to make it personally better for me.
I think the most profound thing about Blue to me is the sheer human intimacy of it. Derek Jarman doesn't waste his time telling the audience everything that is on his mind. Hearing him speak about his perception of the color Blue was incredibly moving to me. A color can invoke and represent so many emotions, and Jarman says everything about what the color Blue means to him in the most interesting ways. There are certain passages that I doubt I'll ever forget. We get to fully know what he was really feeling through his hardest times. However throughout the film Jarman will have his tongue in cheek moments that got me smile when the film was making me feel empty. I love Jarman's way of narration, he knows how to use his voice at his most powerful weapon. To bring us into his perspective.
Speaking of perspective, the use of music and sound effects in Blue is absolutely brilliant. Coil was the right band to compose this. Their music was perfect to build the atmosphere, and their music combined with Jarman's words gave me this beautiful feeling of transcendence. The sound effects helped give imagery to Jarmans words as well. Even though it's just a blue screen, the sound effects made me picture the events Jarman went through clearly in my head. Such as his doctor visits, it felt like I was watching that due to the vivid imagery. It's such an intimate way of communicating your last statements as an artist.
Isn't that the main purpose of Art? To me it is. Art is something that is supposed to invoke some emotional reaction out of you. Film is an incredible artform that allows so many people to express themselves. Derek Jarman utilized the power of film to fully express himself. If some piece of art doesn't bring any emotional resonance within me then whats the point really?
Blue in my opinion is one of the most important works of the 20th century. Derek Jarman was a visionary who deserves to be immortalized in film history. I hope his soul is at peace, as well as so many of the unfortunate victims of AIDS and HIV. You aren't forgotten and you will never be. I am so happy this was my 1000th film, I'll never forget it.