A Gay Old Time,” we are getting down on our knees. And, in a surprising turn of events, it is actually not just for pleasure, but also for religious reasons!This week, it’s all about faith, martyrdom, biblical epics, boys in tiny thongs, sweaty muscles, and dripping homoeroticism with 1976’s Sebastiane, directed by Derek Jarman, one of the biggest icons of subversive queer cinema.The film tells the story of the titular Sebastian (Leonardo Treviglio), the captain of a Roman palace guard in the third Century AD, right at the peak of the persecution against Christians.
When he decides to embrace Christianity himself, the emperor exiles him to an island with other disgraced soldiers, under the strict vigilance of the cruel master Severus (Barney James).
While there, Sebastian must battle a daily tug-of-war (sometimes more literal than he thinks) between the “purity” of his new ideals,” and the desires that the other men bring out in him.
And each other.So this is very much not your average biblical picture. Intentionally so.The films of Derek Jarman (an absolute forward-thinker and iconoclast of gay cinema) would become well-known for bringing out the new, hidden, and often repressed and subversive sides of topics and images that the public was otherwise well-acquainted with.