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BISR Guilt Group present HIV STIGMA: Blue (Jarman, UK, 1993)

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Birkbeck Cinema

43 Gordon Square

London

WC1H 0PD

United Kingdom

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The Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image, Birkbeck Gender & Sexuality and the BISR Guilt Group present

HIV STIGMA

Blue

Derek Jarman, UK, 1993, 79 minutes

Birkbeck Cinema

Friday 25 January, 6.00 pm

Presenter: Alexandra Parsons (QMUL)

Blue is Derek Jarman’s last film, completed in 1993. The film projects a blue screen (International Klein Blue) accompanied by a multi-layered soundtrack consisting of prose and poetry recited by Jarman himself and Tilda Swinton, Nigel Terry and John Quentin), music by Coil amongst others, and sound- scapes by Simon Fisher-Turner. Jarman had been diagnosed with HIV in 1986 and Blue registers the way his illness was closing in on him, while providing an open space of imaginary wandering through the experience of staring at a blue screen. Jarman had spoken of the blue frame 'as a fragment of an immense work without limit'. Yet it refers in part to Jarman's encroaching blindness. While staring into a blue void a story unfolds about the colour blue and its various meanings, entwined with Jarman’s lived reality of AIDS. Blue is a deeply immersive film which expresses the affect of AIDS through sensory experience. Through the screen we step into Jarman’s world and the psychic, social and material dimensions of ‘dying with AIDS’ in England in the early 1990s. Shortly after the film’s premiere, on 19 February 1994 Jarman died.

For information about the Guilt Group's work, see http://www.bbk.ac.uk/bisr/research/guilt-working-group. BIMI is funded by four schools at Birkbeck: the School of Arts, the School of Law, the School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy, and the School of Science. The University of Pittsburgh is also a partner and co-funder.

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Birkbeck Cinema

43 Gordon Square

London

WC1H 0PD

United Kingdom

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