Damn, I need to watch this again.
A childhood favourite, only now do I realize how monumental Boorman's Excalibur is. Truly epic (before epic was used to describe every other thing), truly haunting, truly fantastical.
Wagner's "Siegfried Funeral March" erupts out of the opening credits, Merlin's shadow materializes from the mists. Götterdämmerung, deeply felt, deeply moving. Knights clash clumsily in heavy armor. A world transitions from wild nature to rationality and organized religion, itself marked as a tragedy, But it is not a condemnation or a celebration, rather just an acceptance and mourning of the inevitable failings that arise at the intersection of the personal and the political. Both epic fantasy, an opium dream worthy of the greatest of Coleridge, and dark analysis of human history. I may say the word masterpiece too often, but this is truly one of the essential films.
Interesting but uneven attempt at a serious take on Arthurian legend. A truly epic and ambitious production, with some strong moments of atmosphere and arresting visuals. But the plot is disjointed, making the characters hard to connect with. Has its flaws, but the visual spectacle makes it something memorable.
Boorman's casually weird adaptation of Le morte d'Arthur modifies the Great Man model of history, emphasizing forces that men, great or not, can't comprehend/control. Arthur's chosen & knows not why. Merlin knows enough to know he's a tool for a dragon bigger than his field of vision. The lake fairy knows. Charms of making may be spoken but not diagrammed: "Anaal nathrakh uthvas bethud dochiel dienvé!" Mirren's tits.