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I’ve never seen this movie before — I’ve seen most of Jarman’s movies, but not this one (his first full movie, but co-directed by Paul Humfress). It’s on a BFI box blu ray bux set, and seems nicely restored…

Hey, she’s in Jubilee, isn’t she?

The dialogue is in Latin, I think? Hm… or Italian? It doesn’t sound very fluid, whatever it is.

I wouldn’t really have guessed that this is a Jarman movie — it seems like a much more conventional film than his later movies, but then again, he didn’t direct it alone. I guess that most jarmanesque thing is that they’re not speaking English (which seems like something he’d do).

OK, that’s a Jarman shot, I guess.

Is he reading comics?

No, porn!

I’m guessing some of the guys who play these soldiers are ballet dancers?

This is like a Beau Travail of the 70s!

Or perhaps not! I’m wondering where they got the financing for this movie — it’s shot really fancily, but I’m not sure it could actually have been shown anywhere outside of porn theatres at the time? (There’s erect penises and everything.)

Did they get pron money to shoot this? The wikipedia page is no help at all.

Did they really have plastic Frisbees back in Roman days? Hah! I got them!

The actors are mostly non-professinal (I’m guessing), but they all did a really good job. Except the guy who did Sebastian — he was pretty bad.


This is from a handsome box set from the BFI which says “volume one”, but I’m not sure another was released? *googles* Oh, it was! And I missed it and it’s sold out now…

But since Wikipedia didn’t explain how this came into being, I thought that perhaps the booklet in the box set would explain. And indeed it says that it’s got professional filmmakers and non-professional actors — which I kinda already guessed. But who paid for those professionals!?

“Funded through private investment from wealthy, older gay men.” OK, I guess, but it’s still pretty… vague? It seems like a really expensive production (the images and the audio are fantastic), and could it ever hope to make back the investment through screening at the Gate Cinema in Notting Hill? It seems rather unlikely, doesn’t it?

Anyway, I was pretty sceptical towards this movie at the start, because it didn’t really look much like a Jarman movie? But after about half an hour, I was all in — the photography, the horniness, the sheer fuck-it-all-ness about it all means that I have to give it a . But I can understand if this isn’t a movie included in Jarman retrospectives (it wasn’t in the one I saw in the early 90s) — because it’s not The Last of England or Jubilee, like — it’s not obviously worth watching.

Sebastiane. Paul Humfress, Derek Jarman. 1976.

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