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Smiling in Slow Motion

2011
Author:

Derek Jarman

Smiling in Slow Motion

Part diary, part observation, part memoir—writings from Derek Jarman’s final years

Written between 1991 and 1994, and ending just two weeks before his death, Derek Jarman’s entries review friends and enemies as he races through his last years painting, filmmaking, gardening, and annoying his targets through his involvement in radical politics. Infused throughout with familiar honesty and wry humor, Smiling in Slow Motion is a document of endeavor, remembrance, and love.

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

Written between May 1991 and February 1994, and ending just two weeks before his death from an AIDS-related illness, Derek Jarman’s entries in Smiling in Slow Motion pick up where Modern Nature left off. Friends and enemies are reviewed as he races through his last years painting, filmmaking, gardening, and annoying his targets through his involvement in radical politics. Infused throughout with familiar honesty and wry humor, Smiling in Slow Motion is a document of endeavor, remembrance, and love.

Smiling in Slow Motion

One of England’s foremost filmmakers, Derek Jarman (1942–1994) wrote and directed several 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 United Kingdom and the United States. He is the author of several books, among them Modern Nature, Chroma, and At Your Own Risk, available from University of Minnesota Press.

Smiling in Slow Motion

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

These journals, far from being the product of a morbid defeatism, are on the contrary the life-affirming expression of an artist engaged in living to the full. Required reading.

The Times (London)

These journals are hard to put down.

Amos Lassen

An important document not only for Jarman aficionados, but for anyone interested in the history of AIDS and society in the West.

Rain Taxi