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The Sunday Cult Film Corner: “Excaliber (1981)”

27 Feb

Today is a nice quiet Sunday afternoon, where the air is still and there is nigh but a slight chill in the air. and there were a few earthquakes this morning, but like i said, nothing to get worked up over (i slept through it, i assumed that it was downstairs moving some stuff around). So to help my chi, Id and other parts of my persona, i’M listening to Gather in the Mushrooms: British Acid Folk Underground 1968-1974. Lots of ethereal, slightly spooky folk that harkens back to earlier times of witchcraft, shires and when folklore took a strong hold over my lost lands.

This music rather neatly leads me into my choice for this weeks SUNDAY CULT CORNER-ER-ER-ER-ER! Today is a tale of sorcery, bloodshed, Kings and fucking Cornwall. yes. it’s the Arthurian legends of EXCALIBUR!!

Now if you’re the sort of person who thinks that the Arthurian legends were told in the abortion that is known as FIRST KNIGHT, then you need to sit down, look at the ground and not utter a single fucking word until this post id over, got that?? Right, as i was saying Excalibur was directed by legendary director John Boorman (Point Blank, Deliverance, and..err… Zardoz – well i think it was a great movie). It was his intention to show a slightly more gritty, realistic take on the Arthurian legends, where the knights of the round table were not god, but men who suffered very human failings (greed, lust, cowardice, etc), all the while showing the pull that magic and folklore had on the lands despite the encroaching prevalence of the new fangled religion known as Christianity.

The film starts of with Uther Pendragon (a very mean, wolf like Gabriel Byrne) uniting the English lands under the power of the Sword Excalibur, and the guidance of Merlin the magician. However lusting after the Duke of Cornwall’s wife, he lays siege to his castle and persuades Merlin to use magic to help him seduce the Duke’s wife. The outcome of this is the birth of Arthur, who is taken away by Merlin(as the price for using said magic). From here on in  lies the tale of Knights, swords in stones, sorcery, treachery, betrayal, and lots of very trippy battle and magic scenes. Containing the cream of Brit acting talent at the time (Helen Mirren, Patrick Stewart, Liam Neeson and Nigel Terry), while it still takes certain liberties with the legends, it still resonates with me, seeing it as an unwary 9-year-old for the first time (the sex scene with the battle armour was the first of those classic “uncomfortable” moment when you watch sex scenes on TV with your mum and dad).

So get your swords and a beer at the read as we recall tales of the past and Yore. FOR CAMELOT! ARRRRUGAH!!

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2011 in Film

 

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