15 July 2014

Derek Jarman's Caravaggio: What was he thinking?

Is this the most pretentious film ever made? Perhaps not (after all, there is always Greenaway), but it is the most pretentious it has been my misfortune to ever attempt to watch. Cod working class accents from Tilda Swinton and Sean Bean add to the horror, compounded by a failure to bother with a narrative - maybe the scenes are meant to be tableaux taken out of his life like his paintings, I don't know, but it all adds up to a screaming nightmare of self-regard. The sets are straight out of early Doctor Who and the ponderous camera work undoes rather than complements the beautiful lighting, the only thing the film has going for it. The voiceover is irritatingly condescending and reminiscent of an OU programme and a horribly over-extended metaphor involving money and sex meant I couldn't sit on the sofa for another second. A clunker. Avoid.

(For further elaboration, see here).

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