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Dancing Ledge

2010
Author:

Derek Jarman

Dancing Ledge

Derek Jarman’s stunning account of his life and art

From his sexual awakening in postwar England to life in the sixties and beyond, Derek Jarman tells his life story with the in-your-face immediacy that became his trademark style in his films and writing. Accompanied by photographs of Jarman, his friends, lovers, and inspirations, the candid accounts in Dancing Ledge provide intimate and vivid glimpses into his life and times.

The clarity with which Derek Jarman offered up his life and the living of it, particularly since the epiphany—I can call it nothing less—of his illness was a genius stroke, not only of provocation, but of grace.

Tilda Swinton

From his sexual awakening in postwar England to life in the sixties and beyond, Derek Jarman tells his life story with the in-your-face immediacy that became his trademark style in both his films and writing. Accompanied by many photographs of Jarman, his friends, lovers, and inspirations, the candid accounts in Dancing Ledge provide intimate and incredibly vivid glimpses into this iconoclastic filmmaker’s life and times.

Dancing Ledge

One of England’s foremost filmmakers, Derek Jarman (1942–1994) wrote and directed many feature films, including Sebastiane, Jubilee, Caravaggio, and Blue, as well as numerous short films and music videos. He was a stage designer, artist, writer, gardener, and an outspoken AIDS and queer rights activist in the UK and the United States. His books include At Your Own Risk, Chroma, Modern Nature, and Smiling in Slow Motion, all available from the University of Minnesota Press.

Dancing Ledge

This brutally candid memoir by British artist and filmmaker Jarman offers a glimpse into the making of such controversial films as Sebastiane, The Tempest, and Caravaggio. Writing in a diary format, Jarman jumps back and forth in time, discussing his acceptance of his homosexuality at age 16 and his strong belief that a fully realized sexuality must drive art and politics.

Publishers Weekly

Jarman writes in lucid, accessible, and evocative prose. His highly articulate musings on contemporary art and cinema (neither of which has his approval) are both thought-provoking and interesting.

Library Journal

Jarman’s light illuminates the wilderness as brightly as ever.

New Statesman

Jarman’s gifts, in prose as well as film, are spatial, visual, imagistic.

Sunday Times (London)

The clarity with which Derek Jarman offered up his life and the living of it, particularly since the epiphany—I can call it nothing less—of his illness was a genius stroke, not only of provocation, but of grace.

Tilda Swinton

Dancing Ledge

Contents

A Footnote to My Past

I The Rough Cut
II Painting It Out
III The Thaw
IV The Most Beautiful Room in London
V Home Movies
VI St Sebastian
VII Chelsea on Ice
VIII Stormy Weather
IX The Oblivion Digits
X Dancing Ledge
XI An Inventory
XII Epilogue