Queen Elizabeth I travels to late twentieth-century Britain to discover a tawdry and depressing landscape where life mostly seems aimless and is anyway held cheap. Three post-punk girls ... See full summary »
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 »
An unseen woman recites Shakespeare's sonnets - fourteen in all - as a man wordlessly seeks his heart's desire. The photography is stop-motion, the music is ethereal, the scenery is often ... 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 »
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 »
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
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 »
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>
When asked about the film's nudity, director Derek Jarman replied "We couldn't afford costumes." See more »
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 »
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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