Friday, May 30, 2014

Jubilee by Derek Jarman, 1978

I had already heard of Sebastiane, but Jubilee was the first film of Jarman’s that I saw.  It was playing at the Roxie Theater, on 16th Street just above Valencia, (in what was probably its first showing in the US) while Stephen Kaplin and I were visiting San Francisco nearly thirty five years ago to the day, at the end of May, beginning of June, 1979.  I was familiar with Punk, but what appeared in this film added yet another layer to that many layered popular movement.  The fact that some of the original British inhabitants of their particular branch of that fast growing mighty oak were directly involved in making this movie makes it at least an interesting historical artifact; but, owing in large part to the peculiar skills of Derek Jarman, it’s a good bit more.  Of course it was denounced by various insiders, and Jarman wore that denunciation with some pride, which is a measure of its strength, that it didn’t just flow over the folk who bothered to watch it, but provoked them to grumble and curse back at it.  In any case, it’s still around to be seen and questioned.



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