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Delphinium is a stylized and lyrical coming-of-age portrait of legendary painter, filmmaker, and activist Derek Jarman. The film explores Jarman's artistic, sexual, and political awakening in 1950s England. It had its world premiere at the Reykjavik International Film Festival in Iceland, its UK premiere at the Raindance Film Festival in London, and its California premiere at the Frameline International Film Festival in San Francisco.
Delphinium won the Eastman Kodak Grand Prize for Best Short Film at the 2010 United States Super 8 and DV Film Festival and in 2011 was permanently installed in the British Film Institute's National Film Archive in London in the special collection Beautiful Things, "a major collection of over 100 films and television programmes that chronicle and explore queer representation and identities over the last century." The film received two sold-out screenings at the BFI Southbank as part of the British Film Institute's 2011 London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.
Delphinium combines a stylized multimedia aesthetic with documentary interludes, painterly Caravaggio-lit sets with real-world locations, and biographical facts with imagined vignettes. Part biographical narrative, part experimental collage, and part personal meditation on the most controversial and important modern British artist, Delphinium finds in Jarman’s childhood the stirrings of a personal and creative epiphany that inspired his remarkable life.
Filmed on stages and across the UK with the participation of Keith Collins, Jarman's surviving muse, it also includes segments taken on location at Prospect Cottage, Dungeness, and in Jarman's unconventional shingle garden, one of the most famous in the world.
Matthew Mishory and Edward Singletary, Jr., of Iconoclastic Features are developing a full feature film based on the life and legacy of Derek Jarman. For more information or to support the project, please contact the producers via the "Connect" page.
"Delphinium is simply wonderful! I grew up inspired by Derek Jarman's films, and the filmmakers here have achieved not only a dead-on remembrance
but also a beautiful and empathetic sensibility. Derek would be very proud."
-- Jonathan Caouette, award-winning creator of Tarnation (2003).
"Lush and beautiful."
-- Lambda Literary Journal
"Matthew Mishory's Delphinium evokes Derek Jarman in a vision true to Jarman's aesthetic. iPod buds recall the willful anachronisms of
Caravaggio; Super 8 stock echoes the memories of Glitterbug. Delphinium depicts a formative moment in the life of a
saint-artist-philosopher-king like those figures from history Jarman reincarnated in his own films."
-- Larry-bob Roberts, Queer Zine Explosion
"The more personal and affectionate paeans to Derek's life and work that are out there, like this gorgeous little film, the better."
-- Scott Treleaven, author of Bugcrush (2006).
-- San Francisco Bay Times
"[One of] the strongest showings...[was] Matthew Mishory's Delphinium...a dreamy, carefully crafted sequence of dramatized events from the late,
iconic director's life as a young man in a British boarding school...the film's beauty is constant and its direction sharp."
-- Michael Sarko, Meefers.com
"Matthew Mishory's Delphinium is a collage of...images, the catalysts of Jarman's creativity, activism, and sexual self-discovery...one of the best
films to come through Seattle this year."
-- Sarah Galvin and Kevin Kauer, Nark Magazine