I admit that I avoided this film for years probably because most films that have dealt with the Arthurian legend have been pretty bad. So when I finally watch it this year during a retrospective of Rohmer's oeuvre, it was a surprise to find that this movie is really wonderful, and it ought to be better known. Based on Chretien de Troyes medieval book, the film is at times faithful to its literary source and at times very, very eccentric. The style is difficult to explain: the movie wallows in its deliberate artificiality, with its cardboard sets, its wooden acting, and its impromptu (and wonderful) medieval songs. And to top it all, the movie ends with a long rendering of a medieval mass. The movie has a lot of humor actually, which is fairly unusual in Rohmer films, a humor that is very self-conscious and is very 20th century (brechtian distance is a phrase that comes to mind when you watch this film), yet at the same time, the film sometimes looks as a film that could have been made in the 12th century, had the technology been available back then.
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