A Grapevine service announcement Pay attention: Eruption Pollution Likely To Hit Whole Country
Culture
Movies & Theatre
KING ARTHUR COMES ALIVE

KING ARTHUR COMES ALIVE

Published August 6, 2004

Adding Jerry Bruckheimer to the mix does not brighten the prospects.
It is surprising that these three decided to film not the Arthur of legend, but the historical Arthur. It is even more surprising that they get away with it. More or less.
The historical Arthur was born in 475 and became high king, or Vortigern, of Britain around 500. His greatest achievement is defeating a Saxon army at Badon in 516. He was killed in 537 in a civil war. The civil war was fought between those who wanted to follow the orthodox teachings of Rome and those who followed the teachings of Pelagius, a more liberal and nationalist Christian.
Early on in the film, we get to see Arthur fight alongside bishop Germanus. St. Germanus was an actual fighting bishop who came to Britain before Arthur was born. This is not the only chronological inconsistency. In the film Arthur is a Roman knight, whereas Rome actually abandoned Britain in 410. But the real Arthur´s family was known for its Roman allegiance.
These are small matters. What the film manages to do is to capture quite well the feel of a new world rising out of a collapsing civilisation. In one of the films more chilling scenes, Arthur discovers a group of monks who torture heathens for the glory of God. This, the church, is the new power that will take the place of the fallen Empire. It is one of the great absurdities as well as tragedies of history how the message of Jesus Christ deteriorated into an orgy of sadism, the likes of which have rarely been seen before or since. It is tempting to go Freudian and suggest that putting power into the hands of people not allowed to have sex will force them to get their kicks in other ways.
But Arthur´s main enemy is the Saxons. The Swedish Stellan Skarsgard puts on a mighty codpiece and a southern accent to play the leader of the Germanic invaders. Why this doesn´t look as ridiculous as it sounds, I don´t know. The Saxons are portrayed as pure evil, killing each other as well as anyone else merely for the sake of killing. Are these really the ancestors of the noble Anglo-Saxons of today, who selflessly delivered us from the clutches of the evil Saddam Hussein? Of course not, says the film. Stellan gives his men orders not to rape the British women, as this would lead to a thinning out of the blood. Of course medieval Saxons were motivated by Nazi racial theory, and did not breed with the English, hence the English of today have nothing to do with them.
And yet, the movie just works. Merlin plays a minor role as leader of the Woads. Lancelot’s inability to leave other men´s wifes alone is hinted at, but despite a build up, nothing happens. If you want the Arthur of legend, look up Excalibur by John Boorman. It´s hard to capture the magic much better than that. But this attempt to show the historical Arthur is better than it has any right to be.
(For a great book on the Arthur of history – fictional though it may be – I’d recommend The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley – Paul)



Culture
Movies & Theatre
<?php the_title(); ?>

Capturing Biophilia

by

Way back in June 2011, English film editor Nick Fenton was one of the lucky few sitting in the crowd at the Manchester International Festival waiting to experience the live premiere of Björk’s epic Biophilia project. David Attenborough’s voice came over the speakers, the screens lit up, and the lights went down, and for the first time an audience was transported into the magical world of Biophilia: from the young and excited girl-choir to the specially constructed stage and dramatic new instruments, the dizzying array of nature footage, the firing Tesla coil and, of course, the grand dame herself, bobbing

Culture
Movies & Theatre
<?php the_title(); ?>

Remembrance and Re-Remembrance

by

Following the astounding success of their last collaboration, “Dansaðu fyrir mig,” (‘Dance for Me’), collaborators (and fiances) Pétur Ármannsson and Brogan Davison have used their new show “Petra” to reapproach some of the former show’s more fertile topics—artistic creation and family—while also dipping into the more complicated aspects of memory, autobiography, and storytelling. Debuting as part of the Lókal international theater festival, “Petra” is ostensibly a glimpse into the life of Pétur’s great grandmother, Petra Sveinsdóttir, whose semi-obsessive passion for collecting lead her to amass thousands of stones in and around her home in Stöðvarfjörður, East Iceland. (Petra decided to turn her

Culture
Movies & Theatre
<?php the_title(); ?>

Horse Manoeuvre

by

Benedikt Erlingsson’s theatrical debut is a mosaic of several stories that centre on people’s colourful relationships with their horses. The film, ‘Of Horses And Men,’ which came out in late August of last year, has received glowing reviews from critics and it has picked up several awards on the festival circuit, such as the Kutxa-New Directors awards at the San Sebastián Film Festival, and the Best Director Award, at the Tokyo Film Festival. We spoke with Benedikt about his love for storytelling, cinema and horses. Why did you decide to make a film about horses? When you’re starting out in

Culture
Movies & Theatre
<?php the_title(); ?>

A Hard Metal Life

by

Young Hera, played by Þorbjörg Helga Dýrfjörð, witnesses the accidental death of her older brother, Baldur. In response, she remakes herself in his image; she adopts his metal music, clothes, and when we see her in her 20s, she is a full-blown metalhead. Despite nearly a decade since the tragedy, the death of Baldur continues to loom over her and her family, their lives consumed by grief. Her mother and father have internalised their grief, manifesting itself in silences and coldness to one another. Though Hera hardly talks about it either, her outlet for all that pain is through her

Culture
Movies & Theatre
<?php the_title(); ?>

Cool Off With Cool Cuts

by

In the four years since Bíó Paradís opened, the cinema has become a hub for Icelandic independent films as well as others that would not be shown elsewhere. In 2010, Programme Director Ása Baldursdóttir started ‘Cool Cuts,’ a summer series of Icelandic films with English subtitles. Though certainly a boon for tourists interested in Icelandic cinema, she also believes it is an important addition to Reykjavík’s cultural landscape. What was the idea behind creating Cool Cuts? Our idea was to strengthen the visibility of Icelandic filmmaking to English speakers with the best Icelandic films. We think it’s a great addition

Culture
Movies & Theatre
<?php the_title(); ?>

Real ‘Life In A fishbowl’

by

‘Life In A Fishbowl’ tells three distinct stories of people living in pre-crisis Iceland. It stars Hera Hilmarsdóttir as Eik, a down on her luck kindergarten teacher who struggles to support her daughter; Þorsteinn Bachmann as Móri, a troubled writer; and Þorvaldur Davíð as Sölvi, an ex-footballer on the fast-track working for a bank doing some shady business. Director Baldvin Z teamed up with writer/musician Birgir Örn (of the band Maus) to write the screenplay for ‘Vonarstræti’ (‘Life In A Fishbowl’). It’s a follow up to his debut feature ‘Jitters’ (2010). Even though Baldvin has directed commercials, two feature films

Show Me More!