Lancelot du Lac

Film

Period and swashbuckler films

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Time Out says

Malory, Tennyson, Richard Thorpe and Richard Harris wouldn't recognise Bresson's Knights of the Round Table. They clank around the Camelot area making more noise with their armour than a one-man band, confused about their purpose and even about people's identities; at the end they lie dead in a gloomy forest piled up on a scrap-heap. This is the Arthurian legend stripped bare, spotlighting the characters' cruelty, pride, and the aching need for human affection. Bresson's shooting style has always been bare, and he manipulates his small inventory of images and sounds with masterful ease. The tournament provides a virtuoso example: the cameras mostly stick with the horses' feet or the jousters' weapons, and refuse to show us the whole spectacle; the tension which builds up as a result ought to make Michael Winner throw in his cards. It's stunningly beautiful, mesmerising, exhausting, uplifting, amazing - all the things you could possibly expect from a masterpiece.
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Release details

UK release:

1974

Duration:

84 mins

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