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Blue Light Blue film image; blue dot on blue horizon

notes on the colour blue / Derek Jarman’s Blue


Image: Anna Hawkins, still from Blue Light Blue, 2021, 16mm film transferred to HD video, courtesy of the Artist

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Blue: a wavelength hardly visible to the human eye, a reminder of the colours we are incapable of seeing, that surround us – but have been rendered invisible. In this two-part XINEMA presentation, notes on the colour blue consists of a series of international and local experimental films that recount experiences of grief, love, distance, and interiority associated or felt through blue hues. These will be followed (after an intermission) by Derek Jarman’s 1993 feature film, Blue. This evening’s films consider blue, either as material expression or digital artifice, by its reflection on and within ourselves and our environments.

This shorts program is part one of notes on the colour blue and is paired with a special screening of Derek Jarman’s 1993 feature film Blue. Against a plain, unchanging blue screen, Blue is a densely interwoven soundtrack of voices, sound effects and music that attempts to convey a portrait of Derek Jarman’s experiences with AIDS, both literally and allegorically, together with an exploration of the meanings associated with the colour blue.


Part one of notes on the colour blue will conclude with a Q&A with filmmaker Marzieh Mosavarzadeh


Blue Haze: For Dis/appearance
Marzieh Mosavarzadeh (Canada, 2022) 3 min
A stop-motion sequence of nonrepresentational paintings born out of the unpredictable correlation of liquid paint, water, paper, and the artist’s hands, Blue Haze contemplates the back-and-forth movements between digital and material, as well as the process of how memories appear and disappear in one’s mind.

Blue Light Blue
Anna Hawkins (Canada, 2021) 15 min
Blue light is cast as the antagonist in a pseudo horror film where screens masquerade as mirrors or windows or light sources, all the while surveilling us as we gaze into their simulated depths.

the world is blue at its edges
Iris Blauensteiner + Christine Moderbacher (Austria, 2021) 14.5 min
Based on a childhood memory, the world is blue at its edges spans from the Cold War Iron Curtain, to the so-called “refugee crisis” and the renewed closing of borders during COVID-19.

Out of the Blue – excerpt 9/11
Holly Fisher (USA, 2021) 13.5 min
Excerpt 9/11 is taken from the experimental feature film Out of the Blue, and is a distillation of the unique vision of artist Holly Fisher and composer Lois V Vierk. This film is a collection of each artist’s independent creative response of being caught by chance in direct eye-contact to the events of 9/11.

Handful of Dust
Hope Tucker (USA, 2013) 9 min
An obituary composed of sequences of cyanotypes, exposed in the sand using paper sensitized with handmade emulsion and negatives from a 1954 Hollywood film made downwind during the period of above-ground nuclear testing. Handful of Dust, produced in the Utah canyon where the 1954 film was recorded, is an antidote to recover the memory of the downwinders.


XINEMA [zin-em-a] is an artist-run experimental film series founded and based on on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Musqueam and the Tsleil-Wautuh Nations (Vancouver, BC). They began operation in VIFF Centre’s 41 seat Studio Theatre, with a focus on BC-based and connected media artists, stringing emerging and established artists together into monthly thematic programs.

With a home-ground of VIFF Centre, they now operate between spaces and regions, facilitating screenings, workshops and related events, with a focus on local wherever that may be.​

Their main priorities are to remain low-barrier, accepting free ongoing and unlimited submissions of any year or premiere status; prioritize underrepresented artists and media forms; and connect filmmakers and film-lovers of various backgrounds, disciplines and career levels.


Various / Derek Jarman


Blue Narrators: Nigel Terry, John Quentin, Derek Jarman, Tilda Swinton

Country of Origin

Canada / UK


Various / 1993



151 min approx.

Book Tickets

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