(Previously – Satyricon 18 – Scene XII: Encolpius Married)

19aThere is another fade out to denote time passing on the ship, and when the camera returns, snow coats the deck (really fake polystyrene).[1] Also visible is a jagged anchor (unrealistic but suggestive of what we recognize as an anchor) and a large square apparatus made of wood and copper. The production designer meant this to represent the huge mirror the inventor Archimedes famously built during the siege of Syracuse in 212 BCE to focus and burn Roman ships with the rays of the sun.[2]

19bAs the journey drags on, the non-slaves listen to a singer accompany a lyre. It is not entirely clear, but according to the script this is Lichas, completing his transformation into “the next Giton”. Encolpius has been saved from a life of servitude, but is still separated from his original beloved, Giton. The younger man uses his secret language hand signals on a sailor who is massaging his knee, which plunges Encolpius into gloom.

19cIn a shot that closes this short scene, the audience at the recital looks at the camera. The wealthy passengers are near, and in the distance the sailor/soldiers are arranged in a box resembling a frame. Artificiality continues to be imposed upon the scenes.

(Up Next: Satyricon 20 – Scene XIV: Lichas Murdered)


[1] Hughes, Eileen (1971), On the Set of Fellini-Satyricon (Morrow), p. 189.
[2] Ibid., p. 187.