The cows revisit the Arthurian legend with Bilge Ebiri (New York Magazine and Vulture). We discuss how the film weaves together opera and Jungian archetypes while exploring humanity’s complex and often violent relationship with nature, the challenges of self-governance, the allure of a benevolent dictator, and the tragedy befalling the virtuous leader who desires not to lead. Thematic links to the rest of Boorman’s filmography are considered, as well as how Excalibur compares with other portrayals of the quest for the Holy Grail.

Taking its cue from the stage, Boorman’s masterful epic strips down the Arthurian legend to its basic elements. Characters here are mere archetypes, distillations of attributes exhibited in various degrees by all of us, while the narrative excludes anything not essential to the plot. The result is the film equivalent of Wagnerian opera, a tragic prehistory of mankind recounting the conflicts that seeded our collective neuroses. // Blobcat

It is the doom of men that they forget.



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