Lord of the Rings

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Excalibur (1981):
IMDB Listing
John Boorman
Thomas Malory
Trevor Jones

Nigel Terry
Helen Mirren
Nicholas Clay
Cherie Lunghi
Paul Geoffrey
Nicol Williamson
Robert Addie
Gabriel Byrne
Liam Neeson
Patrick Stewart
... Director
... Writer
... Original Music by

... Arthur
... Morgana
... Lancelot
... Guenevere
... Perceval
... Merlin
... Mordred
... Uther Pendragon
... Gawain
... Leondegrance

Director John Boorman brings this version of the retelling of the Arthurian legend to life with excellent use of imagery and classical music. Both succeed in adding to the mysticism and wonder of the story. The acting is good and the appearance of the aging of Arthur is believable (except the "teenage" years). Patrick Stewart and Liam Neeson can be found in supporting roles in Excalibur when they were unknowns to the big screen. Merlin is portrayed grandiosely by Williamson in every scene. Merlin is a larger-than-life figure, but is not overused in the movie.

The underlying theme of Merlin's Druid magic fading away as England is being Christianized is an interesting accent to the movie, especially since the latter part of the movie involves a quest for the Holy Grail, a significant symbol of Christianity. The second half of the movie does not contain much dialog, but rather heavily relies on imagery. This is, at times, disturbing and confusing, but works for me since legends and myths rely heavily on symbolism.

Absolut Paradigm

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