Capital Celluloid 2020 — Day 125: Wed Dec 9

 Sebastiane (Jarman, 1976): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 8.55pm


This film is being screened (also on December 3rd and 13th) as part of the BFI"s Big Screen Classics season. Full details can be found here.

Time Out review:
Not exactly typical of the British independent cinema, this not only tackles an avowedly 'difficult' subject (the relationship between sex and power, and the destructive force of unrequited passion), but does so within two equally 'difficult' frameworks: that of exclusively male sexuality, and that of the Catholic legend of the martyred saint, set nearly 1,700 years ago. Writer/director Jarman sees Sebastian as a common Roman soldier, exiled to the back of beyond with a small platoon of bored colleagues, who gets selfishly absorbed in his own mysticism and then picked on by his emotionally crippled captain. It's filmed naturalistically, to the extent that the dialogue is in barracks-room Latin, and carries an extraordinary charge of conviction in the staging and acting; it falters only in the slightly awkward elements of parody and pastiche. One of a kind, it's compulsively interesting on many levels.

Here (and above) is the trailer.

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