One of the most influential experimental filmmakers of the 20th century, Derek Jarman changed the cinematic medium forever by conducting transgressive explorations of sexuality and masculinity. Known for his seminal masterpieces such as The Last of England and Blue, Jarman’s unique approach to the cinematic art form inspired countless aspiring filmmakers to search for the fundamental truths of human existence through the lens of a camera.
Jarman became one of the pioneering figures of the non-narrative genre because of films like Blue and this 1981 music video is a perfect example of the very same. Titled T.G.: Psychic Rally in Heaven, this enigmatic piece of art features Jarman’s characteristically complex visual style as he tries to document the musical output of the English music group Throbbing Gristle.
When asked about the autobiographical sensibilities in his own work, Jarman answered: “I suppose ostrich-like filmmakers often ignore their own lives, but I was brought up with a different set of aesthetics to filmmaking, those of the painter. Presumably, the painter would paint his immediate surroundings and if he was going to paint a vase of flowers, it would be one at home.”
Adding, “For a painter to concentrate on his own life or any other form of art is actually considered to be a raison d’être. If a painter started to operate in the way a film director did, everyone would say the paintings were valueless. Witness the astronomical sums of money that are paid for van Gogh at the moment where someone is painting their own life. It seems very strange that in cinema this doesn’t really happen.”
Check out Derek Jarman’s obscure 1981 music video T.G.: Psychic Rally in Heaven in its entirety below. For people who suffer from epilepsy or related symptoms, it is advisable not to watch this due to the seizure-inducing imagery.