Guardian Docs: Saintmaking
Monday, 17 January 2022
Image: Saintmaking, Marco Alessi, 2021
Guardian Documentaries and LSFF present a partnership screening of Marco Alessi’s Saintmaking, a new film that tells the tale of a group of queer “nuns” in 90s London who decided to canonise Derek Jarman – film-maker, artist, gardener and more – as an act of political protest. At the time in 1991, Derek Jarman was the most prominent person in the UK living openly with HIV. He was outspoken, radical and unapologetically queer. The perfect antidote, in the Sisters’ eyes, to Ian McKellen’s acceptance of a knighthood in the 1991 new year honours.
At the time in 1991, Derek Jarman was the most prominent person in the UK living openly with HIV. He was outspoken, radical and unapologetically queer. The perfect antidote, in the Sisters’ eyes, to Ian McKellen’s acceptance of a knighthood in the 1991 new year honours
It's A Sin
The video marked Jarman's first of several collaborations with the Pet Shop Boys. It extended the lyrical themes of the song by showing singer Neil Tennant under arrest by an inquisition with Chris Lowe as his jailer and Ron Moody in the role of his judge, interspersed with brief clips of personifications of the seven deadly sins.
There We Are, John
In this revealing documentary, commissioned by the British Council, McMullen creates an elegant portrait of Derek Jarman, based on an interview conducted by John Cartwright. The questions are unobtrusive, allowing Jarman to reflect on his major films: His surprise at the reaction against Jubilee and Sebastiane, satisfaction with Caravaggio and his delight with The Angelic Conversation. All the while the camera stays with him, revealing but humane. Despite the debilitating effects of serious illness (Jarman was filmed on the very day he left hospital following pneumonia), we see an artist with his inner vision unimpaired; still humorous, self-effacing, quirky but disarmingly charming. A remarkable document and statement to the 1990’s.