Nicholas Ward Jackson, Colin MacCabe
Derek Jarman struggled for seven years to bring his portrait of the great Renaissance painter Michelangelo Caravaggio to the screen, producing a critically acclaimed masterwork and powerful meditation on sexuality, criminality and art.
Told in flashback as the artist (Nigel Terry – TROY) lies dying in poverty, the film brilliantly recreates the look and colour of Caravaggio’s original paintings while exploring the homoerotic subtext of his work. Speculating on the artist’s relationship with his model Ranuccio (Sean Bean – LORD OF THE RINGS, GAME OF THRONES), the film explores a vicious love triangle also involving the model’s wife, played brilliantly by Tilda Swinton (ORLANDO, MICHAEL CLAYTON) Jarman’s muse and collaborator throughout several films, this was Swinton’s first feature role. With luscious production design it was the first major film production for award-winning costume designer Sandy Powell (THE AVIATOR, SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE) the dazzling Caravaggio is arguably the most accessible of Jarman’s films.