Excalibur (1981)

John Boorman directs Nicol Williamson, Helen Mirren and Nigel Terry in this full life story take of the King Arthur legend.

Murky muddy, paint red blood, glowing green backlit armour and pale pink perky flesh. Camelot by way of Kurosawa, comic book and folk horror. It is a rich film, tasty at first, off puttingly tart eventually, but then commendably epic and weird by the close. It bores, it arouses, it is laughable, it is incredible. You are never 10 minutes away from a painterly image… more often than not involving a vamping it up young Helen Mirren. The only credible bit of acting though comes from Williamson’s playfully obtuse Merlin. This probably would work better on the big screen or with the sound off as an art installation. Still I’d watch it again for all its hubris.

7

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