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. ... 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>
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.
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