One has to admire how many cliches Jarman packs in: cameo of African as beast, mutilated Idiot as grotesque bully, slaughtering of animals as symbolic of Male energy in this ogling - clearly even though admirers may call it examination the camera ogled - at male sexual aggression. But I resented being dragged through near 90 minutes of someone else's wet dream. Or maybe it is just that Jarman is just not for me.
Jarman's debut was a homoerotic take on the St. Sebastiane martyrdom shot in Sardinia with spoken Latin. Audacious and cinematic though lacking in much visual finesse. Eno's score adds a certain other worldliness to the proceedings. Decidedlly not for all tastes but worth the effort. Jarman's ongoing career would bring many fine films that better stand the test of time.
Derek Jarman exposed the homoerotic undercurrents of Hollywood's Biblical epics in his raucous debut feature which recounts the tale of Saint Sebastian, a Christian soldier who refused to fight, and was put to death despite falling into the commanding officer's romantic favor. Essentially an unapologetic piece of gay erotica, the film is an energetic, if ultimately aimless, exercise in cinematic style.
could it be worse? a 4/10
my review: http://lasttimeisawdotcom.wordpress.com/2012/06/19/last-film-i-saw-sebastiane/
Jarman has a knack for adding incongruous elements in his films (trains in Caravaggio anyone?) so the historically accurate questions are not important. But, my oh my, this is a great film. The cinematography is one of the best I have seen. The blocking and compositions in the last scene is immaculate. Sebastiane's performance bothered me a bit. I suppose that's the worst part, but it is not a deal breaker.
The sensuality of the male body in Antonioni landscapes. But I liked it more when it was called "Beau travail".
Totally camp and kinky! Gayer than a ninety five pence note!
Absolutelly fascinating. Might not have been historically accurate but who cares anyway? It is great cinema and it has so much to show.
I was bitterly ashamed of my tiny willy until I saw Sebastiane. Who knew ancient Romans had such small peckers?
Definitely interesting and has great potential somehow lack of something though
A good film for what it is, and it's cultural signifigance, but it could have been better...