HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
True Don Quixote, The
Babymother
Mitchells vs. the Machines, The
Dora and the Lost City of Gold
Unholy, The
How to Deter a Robber
Antebellum
Offering, The
Enola Holmes
Big Calamity, The
Man Under Table
Freedom Fields
Settlers
Boy Behind the Door, The
Swords of the Space Ark
I Still See You
Most Beautiful Boy in the World, The
Luz: The Flower of Evil
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
Honeymoon
King and Four Queens, The
Stray Dolls
   
 
Newest Articles
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
   
 
  Caravaggio Painterly Passions
Year: 1986
Director: Derek Jarman
Stars: Nigel Terry, Sean Bean, Tilda Swinton, Michael Gough, Spencer Leigh, Nigel Davenport, Dexter Fletcher, Robbie Coltrane, Jonathan Hyde, Sadie Corre, Dawn Archibald, Imogen Claire, Garry Cooper, Vernon Dobtcheff, Cindy Oswin, Jack Birkett
Genre: Historical, BiopicBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: The year is 1610 and the renowned painter Caravaggio (Nigel Terry) is lying on his deathbed, seeing his life flash before his eyes. He remembers taking in his young charge who would not only act as his assistant in the following years, but end up looking after him as well, as he is now, attending to his master as he rambles in his fever. As the faces of the past swim into his consciousness, Caravaggio recalls his career, and the events leading up to the point he had to flee Rome for committing a crime. But as with much of his life, it was all down to passion...

Derek Jarman's Caravaggio is generally regarded as his best film, a deeply felt examination of the soul of an artist and how they struggle to convey the heights of human experience compared with the reality which will frequently let them down. Jarman wrote the script, and as often many like to read part of his own life into the world of his films; so it is with the lead character here in a rendering which may not be entirely historically accurate, but does convey a sense of what Jarman believed an artist had to endure to bring his work to life.

However, this director's approach is not going to appeal to everyone, and he made a virtue of something akin to a proud exclusivity, whether it was for aesthetes only or homosexuals only, that can be offputting to those not part of such circles. So it is with this film, which is so intent on creating, on a tiny budget, the atmosphere in which great art can be made that it grows sleepy in its depiction of suffering creative types and their subjects which he uses to paint noble religious figures that are far removed from the models. The scenes where the models pose are oddly camp and artificial instead of inspiring.

But Jarman embraces the idea that this is a modern version of an old story, and he playfully includes anachronisms, whether it's a trilby on the head of Dexter Fletcher's teenage Caravaggio, or Nigel Davenport with a pocket calculator, Sean Bean as the muse Ranuccio tinkering with a motorbike, or Jonathan Hyde tapping away on a typewriter in the bath. These aspects are not jokey, but serve to bring what could have been a pretty musty tale into the eighties, though again, this can be alienating for those used to the Charlton Heston as Michaelangelo school of painter's biopics.

Yet Jarman cannot quite escape the clich├ęs inherent in translating what is somewhat uncinematic: watching someone paint a picture. Therefore to make Caravaggio seem caught up in the ecstacy of creation he does that familiar painting very fast thing, and he has to have a great love of his life to inspire him to fresh realms of genius. Ranuccio is that man, but he also has a sexual relationship with his other half, Lena (Tilda Swinton in her debut), leading to her falling pregnant and tragedy. But with the amount of lounging around - for all the anachronisms, there are definitely no car chases to be seen - means the pace slows to that of a thick syrup and unless you can adjust to that and drink in the golden-hued images and lessons in the angst of an artist, then, dare I say it, you could well find this fairly boring. Music by Simon Fisher-Turner.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4123 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: