FEATURE: Artemis 81

Nov 30, 1980
Track List And Lyrics
    DISC NO: 1
  1. Feature Film


Sting on "Artemis 81"

"It's three hours long, very erudite, very dense - and a lot of people would say it was very pretentious. I don't know what it's like. I've no idea. I think it could be very good. Then again, I could be awful. It's very hard to tell. When you're on-stage the way the ritual is set up, you get feedback. On a film set you say a line and the director says, cut, and there's not thousands of people saying Yeah! Really great! There's no audience and I find that scary."
NME, 9/81


"Artemis 81" is a little seen, three hour long, made for TV movie which was originally broadcast by the BBC in December 1981 and directed by Alastair Reid. It's so rarely seen that inevitably it has cult status. Described by the BBC as a "psychological thriller", Sting plays an alien angel, Helith, the "Angel of Love" who is at war with his evil brother Asrael (Roland Curram) the "Angel of Death" over the future of humanity. Meanwhile, on Earth, a pagan Nordic relic - a statue of Nordic goddess Magog - is stolen whilst being transported on a car ferry (all the ferry passengers later commit suicide). A musician, Von Drachenfels (Dan O'Herlihy) is haunted by the thought that he is cursed to bring about the end of the world, whilst novelist Gideon (Hywel Bennett) finds himself drawn into the plot. Variously described as "pretentious", "spooky", "obtuse", "impressive" and "frequently brilliant".