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Thu, May 02


Epsilon Spires

The Garden & The Ghost

An ecstatic vision of destruction and creation, Derek Jarman’s newly-restored masterpiece THE GARDEN isn’t without hope that we can regrow a paradise. Before the film will be a live performance by Michael Foster's THE GHOST, a sax-drums-bass trio subverting improvisation, noise music, and free jazz.

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The Garden & The Ghost
The Garden & The Ghost

Time & Location

May 02, 2024, 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Epsilon Spires, 190 Main St, Brattleboro, VT 05301, USA

About the event

THE GARDEN, (1990, 95 mins) Derek Jarman’s visually-stunning, elemental and avant-garde masterpiece is a waking dream and fiery polemic reclaiming of the Old Testament for queer audiences. Experience a cinematic Holy Grail that was nearly impossible to see for two decades, newly restored in 4k on the big screen of our Sanctuary.


"Evoking a trajectory of paradise lost and innocence persecuted. Jarman queers the parables of the Bible, envisioning the devil as a leather daddy (Pete Lee-Wilson), the 12 apostles as middle-aged women in headscarves, Mary Magdalene and Adam as a drag queen (Spencer Leigh), and Jesus as a gay couple (Johnny Mills and Philip MacDonald), or, in some scenes, as Jarman himself. The filmmaker’s muse, Tilda Swinton, is on hand as the Madonna, a skull-cap-wearing desert wanderer who suggests an embodiment of Mother Nature. Jarman himself had been diagnosed with HIV in 1988, and he would succumb to AIDS in 1994. The Garden is in part his cry of rage and frustration, at the continued persecution of gay men and above all at the way they had been abandoned during the AIDS crisis". -Pat Brown, Slant

"Half waking dream and half fiery polemic, The Garden was born of director Jarman’s rage over continued anti-gay discrimination and the sluggardly response to the AIDS crisis— this uniquely kaleidoscopic film shows the filmmaker’s genius at its most coruscating, making space in its breadth of vision for an over-the-top Hollywood-style musical number, nightmare images of tar-and-feather queer persecution, and footage of the particularly menacing-looking nuclear power plant that overlooks Jarman’s own garden, the point from which his film begins, and a cherished spot which he must keep to tending even as his body begins to betray him. Writhing with sorrow and anger, and yet so vividly alive to the loveliness of being, The Garden is a baleful and beautiful epistle from the brink of the beyond." –Nick Pinkerton, The Metrograph


Michael Foster: tenor & soprano saxophones, Jared Radichel: double bass, Joey Sullivan: drums & percussion.

Michael Foster is a saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist working in the fields of free improvisation, noise, free jazz, graphic & video notation, performance art, and other forms of weird music. Foster utilizes extensive instrumental preparations, augmenting his saxophone with amplification, objects, balloons, drum heads, vibrators, tapes, and samples as a method of subverting and queering the instrument’s history and traditional roles.

"The Ghost was formed as both a tribute to my disparate influences in free jazz, harsh noise, and the gay underground community, and as a middle finger to the suffocating heteronormative establishment of improvised music. the album Vanished Pleasures stands as a new direction for this project, utilizing overt compositional frameworks to convey the anxieties of aging, sexual freedom, and the power relations inherent in the sax-bass-drums format. The title comes from Derek Jarman's "The Garden," referring to the vanished pleasures of untethered, youthful sexuality and the friends whose lives were cut short." ​In addition to his work as a performer he is also active as a curator throughout New York City, co-founding "Queer Trash," a curatorial collective focusing on providing visibility to LGBTQIA+ performers engaged in experimental performance practices.



    Admission for one to THE GARDEN + THE GHOST. Doors open at 7pm, Performance and Film begin at 7:30pm. Popcorn & Refreshments will be provided! Bring cash for the bar. Please choose your seating with respect for others and let us know if you require special arrangements. Thank you for your support! Enjoy the program!

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  • Sliding-Scale Ticket

    Ticket for one to THE GARDEN + THE GHOST. General admission is $15. Thanks to a generous grant from the Ben and Jerry’s Foundation, subsidized sliding-scale tickets are available for those who self-identify as experiencing financial hardship. In order to make this program accessible for all, we are offering tickets by sliding scale. Taking equity and inclusion into account, please pay what you can to help support the venue.

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    Would you like to see more programming like THE GARDEN + THE GHOST? Please add a donation to your ticket to express your support and appreciation of the adventurous and intellectually-engaging programs at Epsilon Spires. Thank you & keep up the good work! Popcorn & refreshments will be provided! Bring cash for the bar. Please let us know if you require special arrangements. Looking forward to seeing you there!

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