Archive for January 4, 2023

The Death of the Arthur: The Side-Quest for the Holy Grail

Posted in FILM, literature, Mythology with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2023 by dcairns

This Arthurian quest of mine…

I’m thinking it’ll make sense to carry on the TH White theme with Disney’s THE SWORD IN THE STONE. I have the DVD and I’m not even sure I’ve ever seen all of it, just highlights on TV’s Disney Time. I mean, I *think* I probably have.

I just picked up KING ARTHUR LEGEND OF THE SWORD, the unmemorably-titled Guy Ritchie film from a few years back. After the extremely distasteful THE GENTLEMEN I figured I’d sworn off GR’s work, but a thick-ear version of the Arthur legend is a novelty, it was only £1.50, and my chum Freddie Fox is in it. I’ll give it a go.

This seems like a good prompt to finally properly watch Bresson’s LANCELOT DU LAC and Rohmer’s PERCEVAL LE GALLOIS. Should I also watch Syberberg’s PARSIFAL? Is it particularly Arthurian? Arthur’s not in the cast list.

Which version of A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR’S COURT should I watch? I should read it, first. This was John Landis’ dream project (Jenny Agutter starts reading it to David Naughton in the similarly-titled AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON). I’m slightly tempted by the Will Rogers version, but if I have the Bing Crosby I could make it a Tay Garnett double feature with THE BLACK KNIGHT. As accompaniment to a Twain adaptation I could also run the short KNIGHTY-KNIGHT BUGS, featuring a certain rabbit.

The alternative to TBK, for a Hollywood version of the late classic period, would be Cornel Wilde’s LANCELOT AND GUINEVERE, or I suppose PRINCE VALIANT which is Henry Hathaway so there ought to at least be some decent camera moves. Any opportunity to retell the Timothy Carey story about that one ought to be seized upon. There’s also Nathan Juran’s SIEGE OF THE SAXONS for which I hold out little hope.

Recently, we’ve had David Lowery’s THE GREEN KNIGHT and Joe Cornish’s THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING, both of which I’m curious about. I’m not curious about FIRST KNIGHT, any of the TV Merlins or Arthurs, the animated QUEST FOR CAMELOT, the serial ADVENTURES OF SIR GALAHAD with George Reeves (hmm, I dunno though…), the 1978 DR. STRANGE, KING ARTHUR WAS A GENTLEMAN with Arthur Askey, KING ARTHUR with Clive Owen, THE LAST LEGION with everybody, TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT, or TRISTAN & ISOLDE. Unless someone wants to make a case for any of them.

The Three Stooges in SQUAREHEADS OF THE ROUND TABLE is at least short, so I’ll probably do it.

SHREK III might just about be worth it. SHREK II was a good bit funnier than the original. Do they keep improving?

Obviously EXCALIBUR (pictured) and MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL are touchstones with me. I may revisit, but I’ll certainly refer to them.

And what have I missed?