A stunning collage of ecstatic Super-8 fragments, Glitterbug is a loving tribute to Derek Jarman posthumously assembled by friends from his prolific filming of everyday events and his experimental investigations of the format. Jarman’s vibrant photography combined with dynamic cutting reveals glimpses into his picaresque life, from London streets to Spanish countryside—with visions of dances, performances, intimate moments and quiet observations. Especially touching are the sequences with longtime muse Tilda Swinton as she bashfully wanders around gardens, her joyful, intimate interaction with the camera a testimony to her and Jarman’s devoted friendship. Set to a mesmerizing score by Brian Eno, Glitterbug forms a hopeful counterpoint to the harrowing Blue and commemorates both Jarman’s exemplary life as a gay icon and his unique artistic vision. –zeitgeistfilms
Derek Jarman (January 31, 1942- February 19, 1994), British film director, artist, and writer.
Jarman’s first films were experimental super 8mm shorts, a form he never entirely abandoned, and later developed further (in his films Imagining October (1984), The Angelic Conversation (1985), The Last Of England (1987) and The Garden (1990)) as a parallel to his narrative work.
Jarman made his debut in “overground” narrative filmmaking with the groundbreaking Sebastiane (1976), arguably the first British film to feature positive images of gay sexuality, and the first (and to date, only) film entirely in Latin. He follwed this with the film many regard as his first masterpiece, Jubilee (shot 1977, released 1978), in which Queen Elizabeth I of England is transported forward in time to a desolate and brutal wasteland ruled by her twentieth century namesake. Jubilee was arguably the first UK punk movie, and amongst its cast featured punk groups and figures such as Wayne County… read more
Best enjoyed in short bursts, this compilation often feels akin to peering through someone’s window without their knowledge packed as it is with various private films of gatherings, parties and Jarman just going about his life (although the very act of filming partially negates that charge). As a useful consolidation of his variable super 8 output it has its benefits, but it makes a patchy whole with no real centre or driving force, other than a hazy lament for bygone days and freedoms.