Sight and Sound - 03/01/1985
"...CARAVAGGIO is an enterprise of extraordinary daring and resource..."
New York Times - 08/29/1986
"...Striking....CARAVAGGIO is an experiment in excess, but with enough flashes of ingenuity and visual brilliance to repay a visit."
Los Angeles Times - 09/13/1986
"...A kinky ode to chiaroscuro and the dark side of the Renaissance, a luxuriantly eccentric look at the Bad-Boy-as-Artist..."
Sight and Sound - 03/01/2007
"Jarman and his collaborators recreate Caravaggio's world in stylised and inventive fashion."
Derek Jarman's CARAVAGGIO is a biography of painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, the enfant terrible of the Italian Renaissance. Told in flashback as the dying artist recalls his short life, the story follows Caravaggio (Nigel Terry) through his childhood, his initial artistic failures, his later successes as he attracts the attention of a sympathetic cardinal, and his destructive relationship with a handsome gambler. Perhaps Jarman's most comprehensive work, CARAVAGGIO stylistically renders the life story of the painter, displaying the contradictions between his religious beliefs and his sexual identity. Beautifully shot in striking painterly tableaus that recall the sensibilities of Caravaggio himself, the film is soaked in rich red and blue tones while bathing the actors in darkness and illuminating them with single beams of candlelight, creating a haunting chiaroscuro-like effect. As Jarman reveals, Caravaggio's passion for his art--as well as his models--leads to his ultimate downfall in this sumptuous and challenging biography of the legendary painter.
In CARAVAGGIO, the life of the notorious titular Italian Renaissance painter is artistically depicted by British director Derek Jarman.