‘A cinema of small gestures’: Derek Jarman's Super 8 – image, alchemy, individuation

Hauke, Chris. 2014. ‘A cinema of small gestures’: Derek Jarman's Super 8 – image, alchemy, individuation. International Journal of Jungian Studies, 6(2), pp. 159-164. ISSN 1940-9052 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The Super-8 films of Derek Jarman (1942–94) are discussed in the light of the artist's involvement with gay politics and his sense of being an outsider. This led him to identify with elements in Jung's psychology, especially his work on alchemy. Jarman's manipulation of Super-8 film images was comparable to an alchemical processing of the material contributing to his personal development – a process that Jung called individuation. The author argues that Jarman's radical approach to filmmaking is not only an active challenge to the assumption of film images as representative of reality but, in the hands of a politically gay filmmaker, also challenges normative assumptions of sexuality.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):



Jarman, Derek, film, Super 8 camera, Jungian psychology, alchemy, gay politics.

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS)


6 May 2014Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

31 Oct 2014 15:32

Last Modified:

10 Jul 2017 10:34

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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