Unlike any other bio-film - "Caravaggio" (the fictionalized story of said 16th Century, Italian painter) brings the viewer right into the artist's studio.
This film's strengths are in its superb cinematography, its fine cast, and, last, but not least, the marvelous works of Michelangelo Caravaggio, who was nothing short of being a startling genius.
Caravaggio, whose art themes centred around sex, death, and redemption, is considered to be the greatest of the post-Renaisance painters.
This controversial bio-film explores the artist's life, which was, indeed, very troubled by the extremes of burning passion and artistic radicalism. Here Caravaggio is depicted as a brawler, gambler, and drunkard with bisexual tendencies, who employed street people, harlots and hustlers as his models.
Directed by Derek Jarman - "Caravaggio" contains several surprising anachronisms that don't rightly fit into the 16th Century landscape, such as a bar lit with electric lights, a character using an electronic calculator, and the sound of the occasional car honking its horn outside of Caravaggio's studio.
"Caravaggio" is certainly an intriguing piece of film-making that's sure to be enjoyed by any fan of the avant-garde.
I was looking forward to a lush, extravagant, erotic period film. NOT! Gave up after 25 minutes -
The genius director Derek Jarman brings Carravagio to life by recreating iconic moments in the artist's life and imagining the stories behind his most haunting paintings. If you are interested in art and gay-interest films, you will thoroughly enjoy this film.
watch the Carravagio segment in Simon Sharmas "Power of Art" its amazing
It’s 1610, and in a lowly fisherman’s hut the great Renaissance artist Michelangelo da Caravaggio lies dying, attended only by his loving servant Jerualeme and a few old women from the village. As he floats in and out of feverish dreams he reflects back on a life filled with controversy; from his sensuous, often homoerotic paintings to his various lovers…both male and female…to his many run-ins with the Catholic hierarchy. In Derek Jarman’s fanciful biopic the artist’s more famous paintings come to sumptuous life accompanied by the director’s signature penchant for anachronism and religious ridicule. In this particular version of the 16th century noblemen ride about on motorbikes, critics bang out scathing reviews on clunky typewriters, and priests do sums on old school calculators. The Church is seen as an opulent den of iniquity with drunken Vatican staff parties playing out in underground catacombs while the pontiff himself is portrayed as a crafty old queen. But it is when the camera focuses on Caravaggio, portrayed by a fiery Nigel Terry, that we see Jarman at the height of his skill. There is an intensity to his character bordering on the erotic which suggests a man born out of time, determined to wring as much love and pleasure out of life as he can yet bound to suffer the exquisite pain of the artist. And artistry abounds in Jarman’s work, with half naked models drifting in and out of painterly tableaux, delicate drapes brushing against imposing murals, and a background score that goes from high Renaissance chorales to wild jazz. A plucky, visceral film filled with elaborate conceits which toys with history even as it draws us in.
Caravaggio was a major talent and a major queer. Before I saw this movie, I had always thought of him as interesting and vital and dangerous and exciting. I had no idea he was so boring. I wish Hollywood would make a film about his life. It couldn't possibly be worse than this.
WOW! There are not enough days left in my life to try to watch this. Not even Sean Bean is enough to keep my attention. Please don't think that this has anything to do with his artistry, but rather about his bi-polar behaviour and homo-erotic neurosis. I did not finish watching this movie, so if someone does and actually likes this movie, counteract my review.
Derek Jarman tells the story like he is on a bad acid trip with flashbacks in a zigzag, seemingly unrelated pattern.
The Wall, Fear and Loathing, etc., these are drug-addled movies that at least keep your attention and seem to have a point.
Give it a miss, I say - but then, there will always people who run to watch bad movies.
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