Described in the Sundance program notes as "the single most crucial figure in British independent cinema through the seventies, eighties, and nineties," Derek Jarman is barely known today in North America, except perhaps as the director of music videos for the Pet Shop Boys and The Smiths. Beyond Jubilee and The Tempest, his feature work is not readily available on home video here. So Isaac Julien's new documentary on the artist, Derek, sounds like an ideal way to learn more about "the magic of a great creative mind."

More good news: indieWIRE reports that The Film Sales Company has acquired US distribution rights and worldwide sales rights (except the UK) to the doc. A specialized theatrical release is planned for later this year. It will also be playing at the Berlin film festival next month.

Director Isaac Julien's official site has more information about his many artistic endeavors. His film projects include the narrative feature Young Soul Rebels and the excellent "history of blaxpoitation" doc Baadasssss Cinema.

Derek features narration by Tilda Swinton, who both scripted and served as one of the film's producers. According to her IMDb biography page, Swinton began a profession association with Derek Jarman in 1985, considered him a mentor, and acted in his films until the director succumbed to complications from AIDS in 1993 at the age of 52. This week, Swinton was nominated for an Academy Award for her work in Michael Clayton, but I imagine having more people see Derek is closer to her heart than any award.