Derek Jarman - In The Shadow Of The Sun - e Loulé aqui tão perto. 3ª, 18h.

Escolha de Daniel Barroca. Auditório do Instituto D. Afonso III (Convento Espírito Santo). Entrada livre.

A Derek Jarman film with music by Throbbing Gristle

Derek Jarman used some of his 70s home movie footage to produce this wonderful piece of exploitational avantgarde cinema. Actually the original material has been slowed down to a speed of 3-6 frames, then Jarman added colour effects and the pulsating, menacing score by Industrial supergroup Throbbing Gristle The result is a piece of art not to dissimilar to Jarman«s painting work in using found footage as elements of memory and mind that resemble ideas reflected in the Cabala and in C.G. Jung`s writings about an archetypical past that is hidden in everyone of us. The first, In the Shadow of the Sun (1974-80), was originally put together by Jarman himself in 1974 from re-shot Super-8 material including footage from The Art of Mirrors and Journey to Avebury, amongst several others. The film was eventually blown-up to 35mm and premiered at the 1981 Berlin Film Festival. The focus on ritual, mysticism and obscure alchemical symbolism links it with the work of Anger. However, Jarman’s preference for the work of Carl Jung and the “white” magician John Dee, is quite distinct from Anger’s invocations of the “black” magician Alistair Crowley.
Jon Behrens

Extending the recent pagan theme, Ubuweb posts Derek Jarman’s determinedly occult and oneiric film, In the Shadow of the Sun (1980), notable for its soundtrack by Throbbing Gristle. This was the longest of Jarman’s films derived from Super-8 which he made throughout the 1970s between work as a production designer and his feature films. He never saw the low resolution, grain and scratches of Super-8 as a deficiency; on the contrary, for a painter it was a means to achieve with film stock some of the texture of painting. Michael O’Pray described the process and intent behind the film in Afterimage 12 (1985):
In 1973, Jarman shot the central sequences for his first lengthy film, and most ambitious to date, In the Shadow of the Sun, which in fact was not shown publicly until 1980, at the Berlin Film Festival. In the film he incorporated two early films, A Journey to Avebury a romantic landscape film, and The Magician (a.k.a. Tarot). The final sequences were shot on Fire Island in the following year. Fire Island survives as a separate film. In this period, Jarman had begun to express a mythology which he felt underpinned the film. He writes in Dancing Ledge of discovering “the key to the imagery that I had created quite unconsciously in the preceding months”, namely Jung’s Alchemical Studies and Seven Sermons to the Dead. He also states that these books “gave me the confidence to allow my dream-images to drift and collide at random”. The themes and ideas found in Jubilee, The Angelic Conversation, The Tempest and to some extent in Imagining October are powerfully distilled in In the Shadow of the Sun. Jarman’s obsession with the sun, fire and gold (which spilled over in the paintings he exhibited at the ICA in 1984) and an ancient mythology and poetics are compressed in In the Shadow of the Sun with its rich superimposition and painterly textures achieved through the degeneration “caused by the refilming of multiple images”. Jarman describes some of the ideas behind In the Shadow of the Sun:
“This is the way the Super-8s are structured from writing: the buried word-signs emphasize the fact that they convey a language. There is the image and the word, and the image of the word. The ‘poetry of fire’ relies on a treatment of word and object as equivalent: both are signs; both are luminous and opaque. The pleasure of Super-8 is the pleasure of seeing language put through the magic lantern.” Dancing Ledge p.129
John Coulthart

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