In this Derek Jarman version of Christopher Marlowe's Elisabethan drama, in modern costumes and settings, Plantagenet king Edward II hands the power-craving nobility the perfect excuse by ... See full summary »
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 »
Frank Ripploh is a bit of a rascal: he's a bearded and shaggy-haired teacher, and he's gay with a very active sex life and an interest in making films. He keeps his personal life and ... See full summary »
Three song clips by The Smiths ('The Queen is Dead', 'There is a Light that Never Goes Out' and 'Panic'), all directed with an artistic and conceptual vision by the late Derek Jarman. The ... 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 »
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 »
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>
This has the distinction of being the first non-porn film to show a male erection. See more »
The soldiers play with a modern Frisbee in one scene. When one soldier catches it, the logo appears. See more »
His eyes are so beautiful. He has sky-blue eyes.
What is this? What are you talking about?
His hair is like the sun's rays.
His body is golden like molten gold. This hand of his... will smooth away these wounds. Justin, he is as beautiful as the sun. This sun which caresses me... is his burning desire. He is Phoebus Apollo. The sun... is his... burning kiss.
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It's surprising more comments haven't been posted for this production which, at the time of its original release, created quite a stir. Perhaps the film's failure to create a continuing subgenre of imitators is to blame, but then, that makes it a one-of-a-kind effort and efforts of this sort deserve remembering as well.
Looking back on the film from more than a quarter of a century, it seems clear that normal criteria concerning story, dialog, and character simply don't apply here. Instead, one must simply view it as a feverish, almost hallucinogenic fantasy drenched with homoerotic, sadomasochistic imagery that is played out against a sun-drenched dreamscape on the Sardinian coast. Think of it as a high-class photo shoot for an avant-garde fashion magazine specializing in loincloths and Roman military paraphernalia.
Having the dialog spoken in Latin can be dismissed as a "gimmick" but actually it adds to the film's air of mystery and unreality. If only some of the anachronisms could have been avoided!
Considering the possibilities, there's surprisingly little sex here, though it's a subject often discussed and, indeed, the whole film is imbued with an air of desire and yearning. On the other hand, there's a plethora of bondage and torture. Leonardo Treviglio, who plays the title character and who spends most of the movie in no more than a loincloth, is hanged by his wrists and flogged, burned with a flame, staked out spreadeagle-style under the scorching sun, and finally shot full of arrows. Curiously, his most memorable torment is also the simplest. Barney James, playing the commanding officer who's torn by conflicting emotions, takes a handful of sand and grinds it into Treviglio's bare torso, blurring the lines between pleasure and pain, between lust and longing. It's a memorable moment in a movie that is now half-forgotten ... like one of those dreams which fade from the mind after you awaken, even though you try to recall the details.
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