Baron Knight

Got my copies of THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN — a Blu-ray and a 4K — from Criterion. I contributed a video essay, The Astonishing (and really true) History of Baron Munchausen, to this one, with editor Chase Bartel, which covers the development of Munchausen from real-life soldier and raconteur to fictional hero and literary meme, to movie icon. A really interesting job, with the most extensive rostrum and animation work I’ve been involved with to date.

Also, Criterion have put my ARSENIC AND OLD LACE piece online here.

The paperback version of my new novel appears to be here, though Amazon seems reluctant to list it.

Also also, Chapter 5 of THE ADVENTURES OF SIR GALAHAD — Galahad to the Rescue — a title that brings PG Wodehouse to mind — opens with the lamest cliffhanger pay-off on record. Galahad plunges from the rocky outcrop that’s doubling as Camelot’s east wall, hits the ground — and then gets up as if nothing has happened. There’s an appealingly cynical calculation at work here — “We don’t need to come up with anything clever, boys, they’ve already bought their tickets. Just get on with it and have another cliffhanger at the end.” Proof that you can disappoint even the most undemanding audience and keep them coming back for more.

The battles between “Britain” and “Saxony” never involve more than twenty warriors — each nation’s army is the size of a posse. One could hardly expect them to stage ALEXANDER NEVSKY on a micro-budget, but maybe the script should have avoided such putatively large scale conflicts. There aren’t that many huge battles in the various Arthurian legends.

For the second episode in a row, Galahad and Bors steal a cart (the same one, in a dual role, if carts can have dual roles) and Bors gets forced into an embarrassing disguise. Last time it was a drag act, this time it’s just a false moustache.

This time Galahad succeeds in retrieving the stolen Excalibur, which means we need a new McGuffin or inciting incident. And a new cliffhanger, we’re running out of time.

Talk about in the nick of — Merlin announces the sword is a phony, and Sir Kay calls for a summary execution, having Sir G forced to his knees so he can CHOP! our hero’s head off.

Now that, I submit, is a pretty good cliffhanger. Nevertheless, I’m tempted to dispose of the rest of the serial in a couple of posts, because it’s not THAT entertaining to watch, so how much fun can it be to read about? I feel for you, you see.


5 Responses to “Baron Knight”

  1. bensondonald Says:

    Apropos of nothing: Lately been working through the Robert Youngson silent comedy compilations and notice that multiple Laurel & Hardy exteriors include a prominent wall-mounted sign with “The Pink Pup” in posh lettering. Inside joke, leftover detail from another film, or what?

  2. Ran a search for JourneyI on Amazon. Nothing yet. Might be a glitch.

  3. Described variously as a nightclub or “swanky supper club,” the Pink Pup was built on the Roach Studios backlot, and appears (sometimes as a rendezvous destination) in shorts including Love ’em and Weep, Putting Pants on Philip, Their Purple Moment and That’s My Wife.

    But why The Pink Pup?

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