THE CICERONES - FEBRUARY, 2003
REVIEW OF THE SHORT FILM
The League of Gentlemen take on the
big screen with this adaptation of a Robert
Aickman short story about a British
traveller getting more than he bargains for
when trying to track down a famous
religious painting in a cathedral in
The script is by Jeremy Dyson
adapted from Robert Aickman's Cicerones.
[In “A Few Small Notes Upon Sub Rosa”, R.
Aickman mentioned that “The Cicerones” was
(more or less) based on a real experience.
It happened in the cathedral at Antwerp,
but Aickman used the cathedral in Ghent as
the setting for the story] also starring
Mark Gatiss from the League of
It is impressively shot by Dyson, making
fine use of lighting and employing some
interesting angles, with a simple story; an
Englishman abroad (Gatiss) visits a
cathedral in search of a piece of religious
art. He enters the Cathedral when it is
closed for lunch and is plagued by a series
of surreal figures that guide him around
the Cathedral. The tourist begins to fear
the unearthly nature of his guides, until
they corral him in one of the rooms. The
film simply ends with the audience
expecting a nasty end and the Bishop
telling him he shouldn’t be there.
A well-known ghost story, fairly spooky,
but no real pay off. More of an anticlimax.
Maybe because the series was so clever and
dark, we expected more of the same.