Quick-Thoughts: Derek Jarman’s The Garden (1990)

I ❤️ greenscreens!

Uses a lot of commercialism horror — “think pink!” — in the midst of this splicing of two different (a homosexual relationship and a paparazzied madonna) stories and some others, with religion (the story of Christ specifically) only further magnifying these themes in the mix. There is a plethora going on in The Garden, and to its name of Eden’s home of many species, comes a narrative that provides many thoughts. As if the literal reoccurring visual of a nude, dreaming Derek Jarman being circled almost ritualistically by men and women didn’t already tell us enough that we are exploring the conflicted mind of an anxiously opinionated man whose mind feels constantly enclosed, the film then provides us an outspoken conjoining of queer culture battling the makeup of history and, eventually, the now and maybe even plausible future, a future were Jarman’s generation becomes massacred from the British government’s oppressive handling of the AIDs epidemic. Like The Last of England, Jarman’s work here is terrifying.

Verdict: B-

“The Garden” is now available to stream on Kanopy.

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