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Middle Ages epics

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  • Jeremy Robinson
    ... Watched a bit of Excalibur last night. Yeouch! Gotta be thankful that, despite all the recent complaints about LOTR , about all its omissions,
    Message 1 of 8 , Jan 7, 2002
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      >From Jeremy Robinson

      Watched a bit of 'Excalibur' last night. Yeouch!
      Gotta be thankful that, despite all the recent
      complaints about 'LOTR', about all its omissions,
      alterations and pointless additions, 'LOTR' isn't
      as bad as 'Excalibur'! 'Excalibur' has bad acting
      (despite Brit thesps), 1980s lipgloss, hair &
      make-up, really ropey looping (dubbing), wacky
      set design and some not so special effects. Plus
      there's John Boorman's Jungian mysticism. And Ron
      Moody's willfully weird Merlin. Phew!
      And Boorman spent months planning to shoot 'LOTR'
      in the late 1960s. Thing about Boorman is, he's a
      very interesting director, with some unusual
      ideas, but he promises much more than he
      delivers, and far too often flounders. I'd much
      rather see his version of 'LOTR' than Peter
      Jackson's, in a way, though, because Jackson is
      run-of-the-mill by comparison with some
      directors. Jackson, though, hadn't promised
      anything more than a good evening's
      entertainment, and certainly doesn't have the
      mythic pretensions of directors like Boorman.
      (I'd love to see fellow Kiwi director Vincent
      Ward take on Tolkien). On the other hand, if
      Boorman or some such director had tackled 'LOTR',
      it might've turned out like 'Excalibur', or the
      Costner 'Robin Hood', or some other naff recent
      mediaeval epic.
      It's really difficult to do a mediaeval (or any
      historical) epic nowadays, getting the tone
      right. One method is to be sombre, sincere, and
      increase the macho/ gore level ('Braveheart', and
      'son of Braveheart', i.e., 'Gladiator'), which's
      the route 'LOTR' took, but more common is the
      camp, self-conscious approach ('Robin Hood',
      'Knight's Tale', 'Conan'). I'm glad New Line/
      Wingnut/ Osbourne/ Jackson et al took the sombre,
      'Braveheart' 'we mean it, maaan' route but,
      selfishly, I'd love to see a really visionary
      approach to Tolkien, a la Vincent Ward, Boorman,
      Gilliam, etc.
    • ERATRIANO@aol.com
      Oh well I don t remember much about Excalibur: except isn t that the flick with the sex-in-plate-mail? That more than anything I think is what stretched its
      Message 2 of 8 , Jan 7, 2002
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        Oh well I don't remember much about Excalibur: except isn't that the flick
        with the sex-in-plate-mail? That more than anything I think is what
        stretched its credibility for my group. Course I'd like to find The Perils
        of Gwendolyn again...

        Lizzie
      • Janet Croft
        It was a rather odd film. I recall a few images -- Patrick Stewart as Guenivere s father pledging faith to Arthur; Guenivere handing out what looked like
        Message 3 of 8 , Jan 7, 2002
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          It was a rather odd film. I recall a few images -- Patrick Stewart as
          Guenivere's father pledging faith to Arthur; Guenivere handing out what
          looked like Alice B. Toklas cupcakes at a feast; Arthur finding Lancelot and
          Guenivere in the woods and driving his sword between them; Morgana (I think
          that's what they called her, she was an amalgam of Morgan le Fay, Morgause,
          and Nimue) giving birth to Mordred (I can still remember her incantation,
          which is odd); Nicol Williamson as Merlin in a silver Ming the Merciless
          helmet... I haven't seen it in years, and great liberties were taken with
          the text (doesn't that sound familiar...;))

          As someone else mentioned earlier, Boorman's LotR would have been
          interesting. How about if Hitchcock had directed? He might have kept
          Tolkien's sense of suspense intact without ratcheting up the monsters....

          Janet

          -----Original Message-----
          From: ERATRIANO@... [mailto:ERATRIANO@...]
          Sent: Monday, January 07, 2002 3:42 PM
          To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Middle Ages epics


          Oh well I don't remember much about Excalibur: except isn't that the
          flick
          with the sex-in-plate-mail? That more than anything I think is what
          stretched its credibility for my group. Course I'd like to find The
          Perils
          of Gwendolyn again...

          Lizzie

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          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Stolzi@aol.com
          ... You mean your group doesn t... Oh, never mind!
          Message 4 of 8 , Jan 7, 2002
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            Lizzie wrote:

            > Oh well I don't remember much about Excalibur: except isn't that the
            > flick
            > with the sex-in-plate-mail? That more than anything I think is what
            > stretched its credibility for my group.

            You mean your group doesn't... Oh, never mind!
          • WendellWag@aol.com
            In a message dated 1/7/2002 3:58:59 PM Eastern Standard Time, ... That was Nicol Williamson as Merlin. And, for what it s worth, I thought it was a great
            Message 5 of 8 , Jan 7, 2002
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              In a message dated 1/7/2002 3:58:59 PM Eastern Standard Time,
              jrobinson@... writes:


              > And Ron
              > Moody's willfully weird Merlin.

              That was Nicol Williamson as Merlin. And, for what it's worth, I thought it
              was a great film.

              Wendell Wagner


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • jamcconney@aol.com
              In a message dated 1/7/2002 9:24:23 PM Central Standard Time, ... You know, I ve never ever found anyone who thought Excalibur was a so-so film. You love it
              Message 6 of 8 , Jan 7, 2002
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                In a message dated 1/7/2002 9:24:23 PM Central Standard Time,
                WendellWag@... writes:


                > And, for what it's worth, I thought it
                > was a great film.
                >

                You know, I've never ever found anyone who thought 'Excalibur' was a so-so
                film. You love it or you hate it. And that, too, says something about its
                power. (For the record, I'm in the hate group. I could forgive the sex in
                armor--passion of the moment perhaps?--but when the knights came in to dinner
                (or was it breakfast?)in full plate, I simply got the giggles.)
                Jamaq


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Bill
                Wasn t that Nichol Williamson as Merlin? (Not sure about sp.) [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                Message 7 of 8 , Jan 8, 2002
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                  Wasn't that Nichol Williamson as Merlin?
                  (Not sure about sp.)





                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Christine Howlett
                  Excalibur is the one movie I have ever walked out on. Fortunately I was with my sister and her young baby. Baby made a little fuss and we walked with
                  Message 8 of 8 , Jan 8, 2002
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                    'Excalibur' is the one movie I have ever walked out on. Fortunately I was
                    with my sister and her young baby. Baby made a little fuss and we walked
                    with gratitude. After the first ten minutes as I recall. Gosh that was
                    putrid.
                    Christine

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: Jeremy Robinson <jrobinson@...>
                    To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
                    Date: Monday, January 07, 2002 4:02 PM
                    Subject: [mythsoc] Middle Ages epics


                    >>From Jeremy Robinson
                    >
                    >Watched a bit of 'Excalibur' last night. Yeouch!
                    >Gotta be thankful that, despite all the recent
                    >complaints about 'LOTR', about all its omissions,
                    >alterations and pointless additions, 'LOTR' isn't
                    >as bad as 'Excalibur'! 'Excalibur' has bad acting
                    >(despite Brit thesps), 1980s lipgloss, hair &
                    >make-up, really ropey looping (dubbing), wacky
                    >set design and some not so special effects. Plus
                    >there's John Boorman's Jungian mysticism. And Ron
                    >Moody's willfully weird Merlin. Phew!
                    >And Boorman spent months planning to shoot 'LOTR'
                    >in the late 1960s. Thing about Boorman is, he's a
                    >very interesting director, with some unusual
                    >ideas, but he promises much more than he
                    >delivers, and far too often flounders. I'd much
                    >rather see his version of 'LOTR' than Peter
                    >Jackson's, in a way, though, because Jackson is
                    >run-of-the-mill by comparison with some
                    >directors. Jackson, though, hadn't promised
                    >anything more than a good evening's
                    >entertainment, and certainly doesn't have the
                    >mythic pretensions of directors like Boorman.
                    >(I'd love to see fellow Kiwi director Vincent
                    >Ward take on Tolkien). On the other hand, if
                    >Boorman or some such director had tackled 'LOTR',
                    >it might've turned out like 'Excalibur', or the
                    >Costner 'Robin Hood', or some other naff recent
                    >mediaeval epic.
                    >It's really difficult to do a mediaeval (or any
                    >historical) epic nowadays, getting the tone
                    >right. One method is to be sombre, sincere, and
                    >increase the macho/ gore level ('Braveheart', and
                    >'son of Braveheart', i.e., 'Gladiator'), which's
                    >the route 'LOTR' took, but more common is the
                    >camp, self-conscious approach ('Robin Hood',
                    >'Knight's Tale', 'Conan'). I'm glad New Line/
                    >Wingnut/ Osbourne/ Jackson et al took the sombre,
                    >'Braveheart' 'we mean it, maaan' route but,
                    >selfishly, I'd love to see a really visionary
                    >approach to Tolkien, a la Vincent Ward, Boorman,
                    >Gilliam, etc.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                    >
                    >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                    >
                    >
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