Updated: Jan 5, 2022
Medievally Speaking is starting off the New Year with Chris Berard's review of Arthur & Merlin: Knights of Camelot, dir. Giles Anderson (2020):
Arthur’s Return Home: Giles Alderson’s Arthur & Merlin: Knights of Camelot
Christopher Berard, Providence College
Arthur & Merlin: Knights of Camelot is a beautifully made and intelligently written low-budget adaptation of a core Arthurian tale: Arthur’s journey home from the Roman War to reclaim Britain from his usurping kinsman Mordred. Director Giles Alderson and cinematographer Andrew Rodger shot the film entirely on location in Wales at Caerphilly Castle, Dunraven Bay, and Ogmore-by-Sea. The breathtaking Welsh landscape and natural lighting lend an air of Arthurian authenticity to the production. Equally brilliant is the plot, une belle conjointure of narrative details and themes from medieval Arthurian literature and plot devices and tropes from such action-adventure films as Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), Thor (2011), Skyfall (2012), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017).
The film opens with a flashback sequence: young brothers-in-arms King Arthur (Richard Short) and Sir Lancelot (Tim Fellingham) race their horses along the coast. Traveling into a forest, the pair hear the siren song of a lady in a cave. Entranced, Arthur approaches the maiden, who then transforms into an old hag and bites Arthur on the neck. Lancelot comes to Arthur’s rescue and dispatches the vampiric witch. Arthur and Lancelot then hear a cry for help within the cave and discover the witch’s prisoner, Guinevere (Stella Stocker), whose appearance the witch had simulated. Here, writers Giles Alderson, Simon Cotton, and Jonny Grant rework the False Guinevere motif found in the Old French Prose Lancelot (c. 1210) and Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte d’Arthur (1470).
After this opening... READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE
And the director, Giles Alderson, responded to our review:
Denominators: King Arthur, movies, medievalism, médiévalisme, medievalismo, Mediävalismus