JENNY RUNACRE ON DEREK JARMAN

Interview recorded 4th August 2003

Andy Kimpton-Nye: WHEN AND WHERE DID YOU FIRST MEET DEREK JARMAN?

Jenny Runacre: Well I met Derek through a friend of mine, Ray, Ray Spencer Cullen, she was a fashion designer and I was doing lots of filming, lots of fringe theatre all round London and she was a young fashion designer and she was also great friends with Andrew Logan who was an artist and things. And the very first time I met Derek was a Sunday lunchtime, she had some people round, it was a lovely summer's day, I remember we were out in the garden... we went round for Sunday lunch and he was there with his camera filming things. And from there on, I met him loads of times… We became friends, and I did a couple of little bits in some of his little short super 8s and just stuff when he was just fooling around. And then he came up with the idea for Jubilee and he asked me if I'd be interested in doing it and I said, yes, love to, and it went on from there.

THERE WAS A SHORT FILM CALLED 'LUNCH AT RAY'S', WAS THAT THE ONE YOU MENTIONED...

Yeah, that was the one. We were just sitting there talking.... that was it. But she was very surreal you see Ray, she had this sort of very surreal eye and the garden itself and the house was all full of… She had lots of statues of the Virgin Mary around all draped in fairy lights, it was one of the things she did. The whole thing was very much what Derek liked to film.

THERE’S ANOTHER SHORT WITH YOU IN IT, ‘JUBILEE MASKS’. WHAT WAS THAT ALL ABOUT?

Oh, you mean the masks he made of our faces. Oh, that was Jean Marc, his boyfriend, who is actually a very successful artist now and he was young and struggling at the time.... and anyway he did these masks and they were plaster of paris masks that you put over your face with two little holes to breathe through, I've got one up there somewhere. And you just had them cast and then when they were cast you took them off and you had this actual life face mask exactly of you. I've been meaning to do something with mine, but I haven't as yet ... Andrew (Logan) had one done as well and he painted his silver, mounted it as well...

The short films just happened, he just went along with his camera. It was just like my kids do, they just take their little video camera along and they just film what's happening...

SO HOW DID YOU GET TO KNOW DEREK FIRST, AS FRIEND OR ACTRESS?

As a friend really. We sort of ... well everybody in that group were people who were very creative, very creative, they just lived for what they were doing basically. It was a very unusual group and so if you were in that group you were always doing something, you were always doing some little production, or some little theatre thing, or some happening or something was happening and you just met like that. You were never friends per se as if I’d just go “hey, let’s go to the cinema together” or something like that... Well you might do if there was something particular you want to see, but generally it was very much a working friendship that everybody had.

YOU WORKED WITH PASOLINI AND DEREK WAS A BIG FAN OF PASOLINI, DID YOU EVER HAVE CAUSE TO TALK ABOUT PASSOLINI?

Yeah, we did. He did like Passolini and I think he saw himself a little bit in the same genre as Passolini. I mean in his personal life because you know obviously Passolini was a ... he was a militant gay in his way. He stood up for his rights and ... Derek was this as well and they both had this socialist-type background. They had a lot of things in common, it wasn't just their film work, they had a lot of things in common that Derek related to.

WHAT WERE DEREK’S POLITICS?

We never talked a great deal about politics, but I mean it was a sort of..... everybody was obviously very socialist, not obviously, but that kind of milieu breeds this kind of socialist thinking, doesn't it? It's not the sort of thinking of ... I mean if you're going to be in that kind of world, then you're obviously slightly anti-establishment. So, therefore your politics are anti-establishment, so it's not mainstream, so the whole thing goes hand in hand.

WERE THIS GROUP YOU AND DEREK WERE INVOLVED IN WANTING TO CREATE WORK ON THE BASIS OF THIS PARTICULAR THEORY OR THAT PARTICULAR PHILOSOPHY?

No, that didn't come into it really at that point. People weren't saying something about this philosophy or that theory.... Everybody was very well read and everybody looked at lots of films and books and things. No, there wasn't an ism, there wasn't a proper philosophy behind it all. I mean, for example, as I said Derek loved Passolini, a lot of the Russian directors, Tarkovsky and things were admired. And he was obviously very left wing and he also did have a very existential view of England. I mean the Last of England was how he actually felt - that we were coming to the last days of.... He lived in India as a child... he was a son of the empire really. So, his views were that...the empire and everything coming to an end.... and this is what he was showing in his films.

DID HE TALK MUCH ABOUT THAT COLONIAL BACKGROUND?

Didn't talk about it a lot ,no. He used to talk about his mother, cos his mother was the Indian link and her family had been in India for generations, I believe. He was just saying that way, way back - because he had very dark eyes, very dark brown eyes - he said way, way back there's probably some Indian blood because those old colonial families did actually have some inter-marriages. That's as far as we ever got with that.

WHAT WAS HE LIKE WHEN YOU FIRST ME HIM?

Well, he was very chatty, he was sort of shy, he was always shy, but it wasn't a kind of shy that stopped him ever going forward, do you know what I mean? He was very chatty, very gregarious and always had lots of views. He was always very strong- minded about what he thought and what he didn't think and, yeah, very friendly. I had lots of fun with him, everyone had fun with him.

HOW DID YOU COME TO BE CAST AS BOTH ELIZABETH I AND BOD IN JUBLIEE?

He had the script and ..... he asked first of all would I like to be Elizabeth I and I said yes, and then I read the script and he was..... And then I said I thought that she should play the two roles cos I thought that Bod was the queen… The anarchy leader could be like the follow on of Elizabeth I as she is now, this anarchic sort of woman and also I said that she should never die at the end, she should go at the end. Derek actually liked that idea, so that's how I got to do it.

HOW MUCH DID HE DISCUSS THE WHOLE PROJECT WITH YOU?

Well, he would talk about it with everybody, I mean.... it wasn't like a formal film. You'd be there with these sort of ideas tossing around, I mean, he had all his ideas fairly structured, but you could do within that, you could put a lot of stuff in and bring, and add stuff and suggest stuff, because in fact he didn't know how to finish with Bod. And I said I don't think she ought to go, I think because the spirit of anarchy, whatever the spirit is, is going to go on, it's not going to stop. So, that's how he decided it would go on like that and I remember Jordan would always say little things, he used the people, all good directors do, he used the people, he cast the people as he saw them and because of that reason he would use them. So he would use what they could bring as well because that's how he got the best out of everyone...

OTHER THAN BEING THE QUEEN OF ANARCHY WAS BOD'S CHARACTER DISCUSSED IN ANY OTHER TERMS?

One of the things he said to me..... I started playing Bod in the beginning with this really heavy cockney accent and that's how I sort of saw her. Then he said, no... I don't want her like that, he said because you know, she's more middle-class than that and because a lot of..... well, anarchic ideas do come from the middle class. And that gave me another whole aspect of her really, but that was the main thing he said to me about her, the rest of the time it was mainly just how I did it.

DID YOU HAVE TIME FOR REHEARSALS AND A READ THROUGH?

I think we had one read through in the beginning, but no, we used to just go along and do it really. I mean he would go along until you got it right, until he got what he wanted. He also didn't want kind of polished acting, he didn't want that kind of thing.... that's why he used so many people who hadn't acted before, he wanted this kind of raw quality in the film.

DID IT WORK WELL BETWEEN THE PROFESSIONALS AND THE NON-PROFESSIONAL ACTORS?

No hitch at all. Jordan hadn't done any acting before and she had a very big part.

WAS DEREK THE SAME IN HIS APPROACH IN TERMS OF DIRECTING BOTH SETS OF ACTORS - PROFESSIONALS AND NON-PROFESSINALS?

Yes, we were just all there together. I mean sometimes he would say, I'm a bit worried about this scene with so and so... but that would be about it. There was never any problems like that really. The main problem we had during the film was that we always ran out of money. We were always trying to get it down because ... the next day we wouldn't have the money and transport and nitty gritty things like that were the real problem while we were actually shooting it cos of the lack of money.

WHERE DID FUNDING COME FROM FOR JUBILEE?

I think most of it came through the producers Howard Malin and James Whaley. They raised most of it and I think they've got the rights to it all. Nobody got very much at all, neither did Derek.

IT WAS A REMARKABLY QUICK TURNAROUND, YOU WERE FILMING FOR JUST OVER TWO WEEKS…

Well, it doesn't seem like that to me. I was involved with it for a year. It was a year of my life, it really was, cos from pre-production, talking about it all and thinking about it all and working out outfits and doing this and then going round clubs and then afterwards there was... I seemed to be very involved with stuff afterwards, then we took it to Cannes, then there was PR, then there was.... it was a year of my life that… it wasn't two weeks for me.

WHAT DID DEREK WANT OUT OF THIS FILM? IT WAS AN ANGRY FILM, IT WAS A LONGING FOR A TIME GONE BY, IT WAS REVELLING IN THE ANARCHY OF PUNK. WHAT WAS IT SAYING?

Well, it was all those things, all those things. He did think the punk movement... I mean everybody thought the punk movement was the most exciting thing that had happened in this country since.... the time of flower power. Nothing had happened, it was absolutely dead and then suddenly all this new music comes up and all these new kids out there doing all this kind of stuff .... And it was all so original, dustbin dresses and those dustbin liners they were wearing and the safety pins, I mean it was a huge exciting movement. If you were in the arts, in sort of conceptual art, or political art, it was an incredibly exciting time and it was an exciting thing to want to record and be part of. There was that and then as I said.... don't forget he had a history degree, Derek, he knew everything about history. You touched on any subject in history and Derek would know about it. So he had this love of history and love of old England and he knew a lot about the Elizabethan courts and John Dee, the part Richard O’Brien played. He knew everything about him, the astrologer and astronomer. And so.... his interests were his interest in history, the breakdown of the old order that he saw, the new exciting order that he also saw. WOULD DID HE LIKE IN THE RAWNESS OF PUNK? The energy, it was the energy, the difference. Also, stylistically it was incredible to look at, punk, wasn't it. Everybody had short hair and these clear lines and black ... I mean it was a whole breath of fresh air really.

THERE’S ALSO A VIEW IN THE FILM THAT’S A BIT ANTI THE ANARCHY TOO, ISN’T THERE?

Yeah, I think he was critical of punk. I think he also was fairly critical of women, Derek. I mean I think there isn't one.... The real horrors in that film were the women. I mean, I don't think he was really misogynistic, but he.... those are really castrating women in the film..... I mean literally, aren't they? So, there's a lot of undercurrents in that film. He was a very complex man, a very intellectual man.... and he had all those views.

COLIN McCABE SAID OF ISABELLA IN EDWARD II, WHAT WITH HER BITING ON A MAN’S JUGULAR VEIN TO KILL HIM, THAT THIS IS AN INDICATION THAT THERE IS A MISOGYNISTIC STREAK RUNNING THROUGH HIS FILMS, DO YOU THINK THAT’S FAIR?

I have to say I think there is, for better or for worse. And yes, a fear of women really, there are all these castrating gorgons aren't there. Even biting someone’s jugular vein… Everything is a sort of...a fear I suppose, there's a primitive male fear of castration...

INTERESTINGLY HE SEEMED TO BE CLOSER TO HIS MOTHER THAN HIS FATHER...

Oh, yes, he adored his mother. He adored his mother, I met both his parents quite a few times and yeah he loved his mother.

AND THEY WENT TO SEE HIS FILMS, DIDN’T THEY...?

Yes, they did and his mother particularly. She was in a wheelchair when she came to see Jubilee, cos she was very brave, cos she had cancer for several years and lived with it very bravely and he adored her. So, I don't think it was that, nothing to do with his mother, I don't know what it was to do with, it was just a .... it was just something, to quote Freud, it's in a lot of men's unconscious isn't it? And Derek just let it come out.

ON SET, DID HE SEEM CLOSER TO ACTORS OR TO THE CREW?

Both, he was very close to his crew and the crew adored him and he gave people a chance. I mean he had John Maybury, he had that other boy... there was another one, Lee Drysdale, and they would do anything for Derek and he would give them opportunities and trust them with stuff way beyond what they would have been given in normal circumstances and he was great like that. And he was a fabulous boss to work with, he really, really was as regards to being a director, very intuitive with people.

COULD HE LOSE HIS TEMPER?

I only ever saw him lose his temper about once. And I think he lost his temper with Lee Drysdale, because Lee opened his mouth and said something to one of the actors who got upset. Because Lee was about 17, or 16, I think he was, and he gave some opinion and I remember Derek was a bit uptight, but otherwise I never saw him lose his temper, no, very patient man.

WAS HE A TASKMASTER ON SET, WORKING LONG DAYS?

I can't remember actually, I think he went on until he finished. It was such a group enterprise with him at the helm, you didn't even notice, do you know what I mean? It was something you were working to get done, because he believed in the thing and he wanted it done.... It was this thing, his baby, it was this thing he'd get on the road and everybody worked together on it. There was never anybody saying, well it's time to go home now, or I want a break. There was never anything like that. It was fun as well.

WHAT DID REAL PUNKS THINK OF JUBILEE?

Some liked the music. People like Vivienne Westwood hated it. A lot was put down that we were cashing in on punkdom and all that stuff and it was ... Actually it got great publicity, it got a lot of publicity, but it was sort of different publicity from different people. A lot of the punks I don't think liked it, cos I remember actually going into a pub, or somewhere afterwards, quite nervous and I'd go out again quickly, cos they hustled you on the street. It was mainly cos they think 'oh she's supposed to be so tough', or something like that, or she's not tough, or she's just an actor, but there was a lot of ambivalence, different things and opinions about it really.

WHY DID VIVIENNE WESTWOOD HATE IT?

Well ,she thought we were all cashing in on the genre, just cashing in like a commercial enterprise.

HOW DID DEREK DIRECT THE EXTREME VIOLENCE IN JUBILEE?

Well, we just used to let it all rip, we all knew what our characters were supposed to be doing. The actual violence was in the script.... 'you kill him yeah, you do do this, or you do that'. And we more or less did it. Toyah did that castration scene. That was pretty heavy and then we had that awful scene with the polythene on that guy and then the scene with Jane County that I do at home. Yeah, it was a violent film.

AND THERE’S ALSO THAT SCENE IN THE CAFÉ WHERE YOU ATTACK THE WAITRESS… IT’S A MIXTURE OF VIOLENCE AND SEX...

That’s because it's two women, isn't it? There's always sexual undertones to men if two women are fighting.

HOW MUCH WAS THAT DIRECTED?

Can't remember how that happened. It's funny you should say that about that sex scene because Ulla (Larsen-Styles) who I was doing the scene with, everyone knew each other and she was going 'oh, Jenny, you know it must be like that film' - there was some old Dietrich film or something… where she has a cat fight in a bar and Ulla said... 'oh you go down with one leg coming up and then the other leg'... and I said look Ulla, that's not it, that's not it, it's nothing like that at all, nothing. So, when I did that scene I was deliberately trying to make it as un-sexually titillating as possible because Derek wanted… Well, the fact that it comes out to some people as sexual must be the fact it's two women fighting. Because I actually deliberately did that without any kind of titillation in it at all as far as I could see, because I knew that was really not meant to be there.

DID DEREK LIKE TO SHOCK?

Oh yes, he liked to shock, he liked to shock. Especially with Jubilee, he did, he loved that, he loved it when ... when we went to Cannes with Jordan, we took Jubilee to Cannes and we all drove in my car and we got to Paris and of course Jordan always wore her gear, purple and the hair and the French went mad. I think the streets fell apart and it virtually looked like they were going to stone us. Derek loved it, there was no way he would say to her look don't wear it today, or whatever. He did that because he thought you had to do what you believed in and if that's how she was and if that's how she wanted to dress, she should be entitled to do that, which is also very correct isn't it, the right thing.

DO YOU THINK DEREK POSITIVELY EMBRACED THE CHALLENGE OF A SMALL BUDGET?

Yes, I think so. He had no option, but I think he liked the challenge of the small budget. I think he liked the hardship, he liked that, he liked the hardship of struggling to banish the budget and he... he liked to suffer for his art and the harder it was the more determined he was and the more he would come up with brilliant concepts, it would feed his genius because he would then get another idea to sort of...

SO HIS IMAGINATION WAS FUELLED BY HARDSHIP…?

Yeah, but don’t you think that happens to a lot of people. Look at a lot of these artists and once they become established and they've got all the money, it all goes doesn't it. It wasn't just Derek, there is something in that.

HOW IMPORTANT WAS FILM-MAKING TO HIM?

Everything. Everything to him. It was his life. It wasn't a case of one life living here and then going to work on his film, it was ... his life was filming and making art and writing his books and doing his painting and working for his causes, ie. gay cause. It was all bound up in one for Derek.

DO YOU THINK FILM-MAKING WAS HIS NUMBER ONE PREFERENCE?

Yeah, I think the thing he loved the most - I think he loved writing as well, but then he always had this great thing for a group thing, I mean he loved to have people around him. And writing, cos he could always do writing, and he always did write, didn't he whenever anything else wasn't happening, he'd sit down and write another book, but I mean, in a way, film is still the art form of the here and now. It is, isn't it, film - and video now and digital stuff. But I mean then, film was actually the art form of the 20th century. It was the greatest tool for saying what you felt that would reach the greatest number of people with the greatest impact.

HOW DID DEREK TAKE CRITICISM?

What hurt him would be no notice taken at all, or people not interested... no impact at all. Criticism he could handle criticism and sometimes... I always remember I had a letter, after Jubilee came out, a letter from this old writer friend of mine, who I'd known since I was at drama school and for some reason he really hated Jubilee, he wrote me this letter saying how could you do this, what is this country coming to, it was such a scurrilous, awful letter and I took it along to Derek, me feeling upset, and Derek was going why didn't he write it to me? Derek wanted that from this pompous old fart, he wanted that.... Do you know what I mean? He enjoyed that kind of criticism. Whether he would enjoy it coming from the punk kids themselves, I don't know. But no, I think all criticism he could handle because he was very secure in his work.

HE COMES ACROSS AS A VERY SOCIABLE PERSON, DID HE HAVE ANY HATES THAT YOU KNOW OF…?

I think he hated any pretension, hated pretension and he hated... straight middle-class society. You'd never get Derek enjoying getting dressed up and going to a cocktail party or anything like that. He was always in his sub-cultural sort of milieu. I mean he did have great friends… who were artists, composers and people like that…

HOW MUCH CONTACT DID YOU HAVE AFTER JUBILEE?

Well, I used to see him quite a lot as a friend, but originally I was going to do the Caravaggio movie with him. We went to Paris together to look at the Caravaggio painting, the painting of the prostitute washing, which was the part that Tilda was to play, but then I got into having children and things like that, so I didn't do it and then gradually we drifted apart. I used to see him, I used to go to his exhibitions and sometimes I went round and saw him and things like that ... I got more into my domestic life and he went on his... on his way which did consist of this very fringe existence... Once you step out of that role and you come into... a normal kind of life ie. bring up children… Obviously you could still be friends with Derek, but you couldn't live within that society that much, because you just didn't fit in, do you know what I mean, whatever you were doing, so that's how we sort of drifted apart.

HIS FILMS TURNED DARKER AFTERHIS DIAGNOSIS...

They were always dark though.

I WAS THINKING PARTICUARLY ABOUT THE LAST OF ENGLAND...

But he was so brave though, Derek, he was one of the first people to really come out, saying he was HIV. He just said he knew before he was diagnosed that there was no way that he wouldn't be HIV +. But he took that as a great positive thing, you see because he was… very into his homosexuality and making it a cause… I mean then coming out was still something else. He wanted to bring this right to the forefront. He took it as positive and he then became a gay icon, he was then totally this icon, this hero because he'd been so upfront, he'd come out about it straight away. I think he took it to a positive degree and he went through all that desperate suffering and he was always very positive about it. I always remember once talking to Derek, ages before that, about Pasolini and he always said he knew... he used to relate to the way Pasolini died. And he said I've got this feeling, I'm going to have a violent death like that and I used to say don't be silly Derek but... he always had that kind of thing and he did actually in a way even though it was a hospital death, it was a violent illness, wasn't it? But he was still that kind of iconic… I mean, he took it, and instead of being negative with it, he actually worked harder, made more films, came out about it, and made it a positive thing that people weren't ashamed of and lived with it.

DO YOU THINK DEREK SET OUT TO BE A GAY ICON…?

I think he had it thrust upon him. But he wasn't exactly a gay icon of, you know.... a pin up gay icon... It was really ... a heavy belief... it was someone you could believe in. I mean gay icon is the wrong term...

PERHAPS A FIGURE-HEAD.? BUT IN HIS OWN WAY AN ICON...

Yes, it is an icon, but it makes it sound trivial, but the right term is the figure-head of a movement, and it put him right there and I think that's why he used it and he used it positively. Because at his funeral and things... there was this huge, there were people talking there, there were heads of all these different gay and transsexual and bisexual movements and they talked about his art - did you go to his funeral...? The main focus of the talks in the church at his funeral were these heads of different groups and they all said how much they'd been influenced by him and what a great person he was. Standing there at the funeral looking at... I mean I know his art and his work and his films were brilliant but what's almost the most powerful thing in his life was how he stood for this kind of this freedom and this being yourself and this figurehead that people looked up to.

WHAT WAS THE FUNERAL LIKE..?

It was down in his cottage in Dungeness and we sort of got down there and they had Derek embalmed and lying there in this coffin with this little hat he wears in the Tempest, you know the hat... Anyway, he's got the hat on and his robes and there was this huge queue right down the beach and into the cottage, cos you queued and you went past. And it was arranged by his sister and you had cups of tea afterwards and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were there and of course people went out on the beach, I went on the beach actually and picked up a couple of pebbles and then the coffin was taken to the church, a beautiful old church near Dungeness and it was packed in fact and there were very famous people there. A lot of political people, a lot of sub-cultural political people there, everybody stood up and said... it was organised, but a lot of people stood up and spoke and, as I said, the thing I thought afterwards that he got... it seemed that his life was more about this figurehead, against oppression... oppression and censorship and this is where he was really respected and placed. He had that, but when he got the HIV and the way he handled it put him really there. And after that, it was very privately handled and he was buried in some little tiny church coming out of Dungeness, just with his family and I happened to see it, because we were driving past on the way home and I just saw a few people people - his sister I think and some others…

HE MADE HIS PRIVATE LIFE VERY PUBLIC IN ALL OF HIS WORKS, WHY DO YOU THINK HE DID THAT?

Because his life and his art and everything was mixed up for Derek. I mean, it was his life, his work was his life, his art was his life, his life was his art, both things so there was no dividing line. A lot of great artists used their lives in their work. I mean it's very rich isn't it... he had a rich life. And he would only ever show what he felt and what he thought, I mean he wouldn't just take... that's why he would never have just taken a script that someone had given him and directed it. It always came from him, because that's what he wanted, he didn't want to just be some big director, directing a film. He could do the film sets and things for someone like Ken Russell, but...

WHAT DROVE HIM?

His work and his life drove him. His art drove him, just having to get this out all the time drove him, whatever he felt... Even if it was just making those wooden sculptures that he used to make down in Dungeness. He never stopped, he always did something even if it was just digging his garden and planting his plants.

WHY ARE THERE NO DEREK JARMAN'S AROUND TODAY IN BRITISH CINEMA?

I wouldn't take that bleak a view, because I mean I think there are, I think they probably haven't come to the forefront yet, I think there's a lot of talent around. I mean you've only got to go to film centres like the Lux cinema and things like that and you'll see some interesting stuff. There might not be a lot coming out of England, but I think there are in art schools, I think.... I mean I have a lot to do with art schools and I see some very interesting stuff and maybe give them another five, six, seven or eight years, and you'll see some very interesting stuff. I was going to say, there are these little experimental films coming out from Iran and there's one called The Well and they are brilliant. I mean, I must say there isn't anything like that, I think it's because we have got too complicated now. I mean these guys out there shoot in black and white on mini dvs and you can't help but notice the difference in the kind of culture... ie, everything we do over here is kind of fast and violent and everything else. All the films coming out from Iran are all about domestic things, all about a man and a woman, struggling for water or struggling for home... The Well is this brilliant, brilliant thing about this old boy trying to dig up water from the well with his young wife up the top lowering the old leather bucket down and then through flashbacks that start in black and white with no music, you get this whole picture that she really loved this other young man that she wasn't allowed to marry - in just ten minutes. And it's so powerful and it's so… there's the desert and it's dry and it's just the pickaxe going, and it's just got the old boy looking up. Simple stories like that, that's what we're not doing now I don't think.

OF COURSE THE TALENT’S OUT THERE, BUT IT NEVER SEEMS TO GET TO OUR MAIN CINEMAS...

It's all tied up now, look at how all the distribution is tied up, it's tied up by about three companies. There's nowhere else you can show, unless you go to Lux, and Lux has now closed down. Unless you go to Portobello - and Portobello show art movies... they show everything, they're brilliant, but there are very few venues, everything all over the western world.

DO YOU THINK THE NEW FILM-MAKERS COMING THROUGH REMEMBER DEREK'S WORK…?

I think it's massively remembered, it's huge. I mean, not too long ago about three or four years ago, I did an MA at Central St Martins and I was doing it in video installation and all that stuff, but the thing that surprised me when I got there was, immediately someone actually clicked that I was in a Jarman film, like everyone knew, it wasn't like in normal life where nobody would know, I've lived here for 20 years and nobody would know a thing, but as soon as you walk in an art school, or something like that...yeah, kids are terribly aware of him.

COS HE WAS VERY INFLUENTIAL ON THE POP VIDEO WORLD?

Oh, yes, very influential, him, John Maybury, there's another guy who's now doing really well, he does mostly video installations who used to work with Derek... Cerith Wyn Evans. He's big in art schools, I mean, yeah, that is where he's really buzzing, so his influence isn't lost.

WHAT WERE DEREK'S LAST THOUGHTS ON JUBILEE WHEN HE LOOKED BACK AT IT?

I don't know that we talked about it actually. I mean once something was done for Derek it was done, he actually didn't look back. Everytime I saw Derek after that, after we came back from Cannes and everything else, he was either talking about Caravaggio, or he was getting together The Last of England, or he was doing an exhibition, or he was writing his book. It wasn't very often... He didn't say, I would have done that differently, or this differently. I think he always regretted he didn't make more money out of it. Of course, I think he was pleased with it, yeah, I think he was pleased with it. They spent a lot of time editing it, they re-edited it about twice. I think he felt it did what he wanted it to do. I don't think he looked at it and thought oh God I shouldn't have ever done that... I don't think he did that at all. Not that he said anything to me anyway.

400Blows Productions, August 2003.


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