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Derek Jarman's debut feature Sebastiane on Blu-ray & iTunes in March

26 February 2019

Derek Jarman’s first feature, Sebastiane, directed with Paul Humfress and released in 1976, presents the controversial, sensual and sexualised story of the 4th century Praetorian Guard whose human goodness leads to humiliation and martyrdom.

On 18 March, Sebastiane comes to stand-alone Blu-ray for the first time in the UK, and iTunes, released by the BFI. Extras include Sebastiane: A Work in Progress (c1976) and The Making of Sebastiane (1975) and an illustrated booklet.

In Sebastiane, the heat of the Sardinian desert is powerfully captured on film – both cast and crew go through their paces, sweating it out Herzog-style – while Brian Eno’s distinctly moving score beautifully complements the superb framing and stunning slow-motion photography.

Sebastiane is a glorious hymn to the very real, living, breathing, male body and is presented here in a new digital version remastered from the original camera negative by the BFI National Archive.

Sebastiane Blu-ray cover art

Sebastiane will be released on UK Blu-ray and iTunes on 18 March 2019 by the BFI at the RRP of £19.99 for the Blu-ray.

Special features:

  • Jazz Calendar (1968, 36 mins): footage of the Royal Ballet in rehearsal featuring scenery and costumes by Derek Jarman
  • Sebastiane: A Work in Progress (c1976, 62 mins): an incomplete, black and white and un-subtitled work-in-progress cut featuring alternative music
  • The Making of Sebastiane (1975, 23 mins): Super 8 making-of, shot by the feature’s sound assistant Hugh Smith, along with Jarman
  • John Scarlett-Davis Remembers Sebastiane (2018, 7 mins): artist filmmaker John Scarlett-Davis talks about his experiences on the set of Sebastiane
  • Stills Gallery
  • Illustrated booklet with writing on the film by BFI curator William Fowler, original review by Tony Rayns and full film credits