directed by Derek Jarman
United Kingdom 1990


In 1987, diagnosed as HIV positive, Derek Jarman moved to Prospect Cottage, Dungeness, Kent, where he bough a small fisherman’s cottage and subsequently created a garden, using local wild plants and debris picked up from the beach. All beneath the shadow of the nearby nuclear power station.

Just as the garden represents the private sphere of the British, so is Jarman’s “The Garden” his most private, his inner sphere, a non-narrative vignette of home movie recordings and symbolic and religious figures. And just as Jarman said, that he constantly reinvented his own past, so does he reinvent “The Garden”, as a surreal staging of the life and suffering of Christ, including a commercial for credit cards with Judas, urban guerrilla paparazzi shooting Maria and three Santa clauses visiting the baby Christ set versus the solitude of his own garden and the nearby beach against the nuclear horror.

The imagery is extremely personal and not as such open to the viewer. Apart from Christ, Jarman sets up multiple images of homosexuality, from grotesque S/M to tender love, and of Mother Nature, all against himself and his inner eye. It does take awhile before some logic appears and for those who stick around, it will opened itself up and reveal an inner beauty and wisdom. That and a stunning gay staging of “Think Pink” from “Funny Face”.

Henrik Sylow

Theatrical Release: September 6, 1990 (Toronto Film Festival)

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DVD Review: Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Henrik Sylow for the Review!

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Artificial Eye

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:28:10 (4% PAL speedup)

1.63.1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.98 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital English
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Artificial Eye

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.63.1

Edition Details:
• Making of 'The Garden' (43:39)
• Picture Gallery: Pictures by Liam Daniel
• Biographies

DVD Release Date: February 28, 2005
Keep Case

Chapters 13





Comments The film is shot on both video, 8mm and 16mm, thus grains and various quality of the format does show. At time the film has visible compression artifacts, at time none.

Contra the cover, which says the film is enhanced for widescreen TVs, the film is not anamorphically enhanced and is simply 4:3 widescreen.

 - Henrik Sylow



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Artificial Eye

Region 2 - PAL




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