Monday, April 28, 2014

Derek Jarman's Sebastiane



In October 1984 I first saw this film in the basement of an old stone building in what used to be the Central Market in Paris not far from the Pompidou Centre.  The audience was predominantly male, the seats were an odd collection of chairs and there was a wonderfully musky smell about the place that only increased as the film progressed.  The film itself is of course in Latin and there were French subtitles on the print we were watching.  Though my understanding of French is limited, I had no problem following the story or appreciating its nuances. 





I know that Paul Humfress is credited as co-director of this great film but it’s my understanding that title was bestowed for legal and financial reasons and was wholly unearned.  Given all of Jarmans previous and subsequent work and where Sebastiane fits within it there can really be no question of authorship.


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