Dublin Film Qlub are continuing their new season of movies with ‘Satyricon’ on November 12 2016
This season of Dublin Film Qlub (DFQ) kicked off with last month’s screening of ‘Violette‘, the French-Belgian biographical drama which focussed on Violette Leduc, French novelist. Next up for DFQ on Saturday 12 November is ‘Satyricon’.
This 1969 movie directed by Federico Fellini will transport audiences back to ancient times. ‘Satyricon’ is a film adaptation of the partially recovered novel written by Petronius in 65 A.D.
The film Satyricon is an adaptation of a novel of the same name by Petronius, probably written in the year 65. Only fragments of the text have survived, less than 1/5 of the original at best.
Most of the fragments deal with the adventures of the ‘knave errant’ Encolpius and his lover, the slave Giton, who has an eye on a new boyfriend, Ascyltus. Another surviving fragment deals with an evening of feasting and debauchery in the house of nouveau-rich Trimalchio.
To these two strands, the Satyricon scriptwriters added tales and images from other classical Roman texts, and some of the most memorable scenes in the film (the earthquake, the minotaur), in fact do not come from Petronius.
It seems that the original story included the hero’s seduction of various women, but the surviving text, and the film adaptation, are consistently and ostentatiously concerned with male homosexuality. Whether heterosexual director Federico Fellini was staging a fantasy of gayness or not, his film certainly helped to create the ‘gay camp decadent look’ in the movies.
Fellini’s Satyricon has an aesthetic of gilded excess, a languid tempo, and a narrative of loosely-connected moments hovering between pleasure and danger. Unexpectedly, the book (but not the film) is full of sexual assault and rape between men, often described as irrelevant or ambiguous, while the film (but not the book) presents women as base lumps of flesh, which only exist to please or aggravate men.
Was the writer Petronius an outraged citizen denouncing the moral dereliction of the rich in his time? Or was he celebrating an amoral new order where indulgence rules? We don’t know. As for Fellini, it’s celebration all the way.
Watch the trailer below:
The DFQ screening of ‘Satyricon’ will take place on Saturday 12 November 2016 at 2:30pm in The New Theatre, Temple Bar, Dublin 2.
‘Satyricon’ is an Italian film, with English subtitles.
Day Membership to DFQ can be purchased for €8 on the day and there will be complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits.
© 2016 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.