In partnership with The Capitol Cinema

Sometime in 1992, during a trip to St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, the filmmaker, writer and painter Derek Jarman was told his eyesight was fading.

‘Fizzy holes’ had appeared in his vision: the result of an AIDS-related complication that would, by the end of the year, leave him blind in one eye. In this growing darkness, to his surprise, he started seeing flashes of bright Yves Klein blue. This had always been his favourite colour – the blue of his boiler suits, or the skies over the Dungeness coast – and, during the last months of his life, it inspired his final, most personal film.

In Blue (1993), he wrote straightforwardly about his body and the illnesses besieging it: the night sweats, aching glands, headaches and ‘scrambled reflexes’.

Narrated by John Quentin, Tilda Swinton, Nigel Terry and Jarman, the text is an unflinching account of his fear, uncertainty and courage in the face of impending death. By pairing it with a single shot of blue, luminescent and unchanging throughout its 79-minute running time, viewers experience for themselves the terror of Jarman’s diminishing eye-sight, but also the freedom of transcending it: he wonders, at one moment, what lies beyond the sky.

Runtime: 77 minutes

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  • Ticket costs apply


  • Sun 23 Jun


  • 6:20 pm


  • The Capitol Cinema
  • 610 Dominion Road
  • Balmoral, Auckland