In this Derek Jarman version of Christopher Marlowe's Elizabethan drama, in modern costumes and settings, Plantagenet king Edward II hands the power-craving nobility the perfect excuse by ... See full summary »
A dramatization, in modern theatrical style, of the life and thought of the Viennese-born, Cambridge-educated philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), whose principal interest was the ... See full summary »
From the distant 16th century, Queen Elisabeth I summons the spirit Ariel with the aid of the court's alchemist, the sage Doctor John Dee, to witness the appalling revelation of a dystopian... See full summary »
Young and handsome Sergio works the night shift as a trash collector in Lisbon, Portugal. He can't force himself to connect with his pretty female co-worker Fatima, who displays an avid ... See full summary »
João Pedro Rodrigues
A nearly wordless visual narrative intercuts two main stories and a couple of minor ones. A woman, perhaps the Madonna, brings forth her baby to a crowd of intrusive paparazzi; she tries to... See full summary »
French sailor Querelle arrives in Brest and starts frequenting a strange whorehouse. He discovers that his brother Robert is the lover of the lady owner, Lysiane. Here, you can play dice ... See full summary »
Against a plain, unchanging blue screen, a densely interwoven soundtrack of voices, sound effects and music attempt to convey a portrait of Derek Jarman's experiences with AIDS, both ... See full summary »
300 A.D. : the Roman Sebastianus is exiled to a remote outpost populated exclusively by men. Weakened by their desires, these men turn to homosexual activities to satisfy their needs. However, Sebastianus becomes the target of lust for a homosexual centurion, but he rejects the man's advances. Written by
Jonathon Dabell <J.D.@pixie.ntu.ac.uk>
It takes a full minute for Sebastian to pour his jug of water onto himself, a seemingly long and impossibly protracted amount of time. He finally sets the jug down but then proceeds to continue his shower with water hitting him from somewhere overhead. (Presumably he had just trained the desert air how to accommodate him by demonstrating a desired effect, and the desert air obliges by squeezing copious amounts of water from itself to wash him.) See more »
Derek Jarman's lovingly erotic & humanist vision of St Sebastian
I first saw this when it came out in 1976 & had almost forgotten it. Derek Jarman's first feature film & one of his superlative creations. Intensly erotic and shot with loving attention to the beauty of the male body. The seemingly endless stretches of white sand create an idyllic & almost dreamlike atmosphere. However it also acts as a stark backdrop, that forces our attention onto the only too realistic actions & emotions of this isolated group of soldiers.
The characters are complex and cannot be just categorised into "good" & "evil". Even Severus has repressions which have festered into hatred by being internalised. Saint Sebastian shines on his journey towards piety & to the iconic image of his body pierced with arrows. But Jarman always retains the realistic humanity of this playful, loving and courageous character.
Don't want to harp on the bodies beautiful, but as a general comment it is a rarity to be able to enjoy the male nude. Male film-goers are oversupplied with boobs, bottoms & pubes, while women (half of humanity) usually have to make do with "tastefully posed" shots. Thank God for directors like Derek Jarman, Ken Russell, Pasolini, Fellini & most European film-makers who don't believe the audience will be struck dead if they see a penis.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?