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A paradox

a royal hall (Figure 5): Camelot ’s world has one source of power and authority, the monarchy, not the dual powers of lordship and church of medieval history. The Winchester Round Table is perhaps the most interesting of the objects, for it is an artefact which neatly encapsulates the multiple media and times of Arthurianism. It was probably made in the late thirteenth century for an Arthurian

in Medieval film
Linguistic difference and cinematic medievalism

]), pp. 152–227. 2 Medieval film has been defined in a number of ways, and potentially covers an enormous range of films engaging with medieval history, texts, characters and/ or themes; see, e.g., Martha W. Driver and Sid Ray, ‘Preface: Hollywood knights’ in Driver and Ray (eds), The Medieval Hero on Screen: Representations from

in Medieval film
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Anatomy of a metaphor

-known Kurosawa film, Throne of Blood (1957), sets Shakespeare’s Macbeth in medieval Japan, also recalling the noir world of betrayal, ambition, murder, a recursive plot and a devious and manipulative female character. If Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood combines Shakespeare’s version of medieval history with certain noir characteristics, it is certainly a nod to an earlier filming of

in Medieval film

is a story chosen for its ability to address current concerns. The filmmakers thus use a version of medieval history in Kingdom of Heaven to address twenty-first-century tensions between East and West, Islam and Christianity – yet they managed to invoke the wrath of conservatives in both camps. On the one hand, they received death threats from Muslim activists who saw any revival of the crusader

in Medieval film

, Condottieri uses myth and allegory differently from Lang’s spiritualised treatment of the hero’s life and death. What has been generally considered worthy of comment about the film is its partisan, if not propagandistic, appropriation of Italian medieval history and, as many critics and viewers have commented, its evocation of the figure of Benito Mussolini through the figure of Giovanni delle Bande Nere. 21

in Medieval film
Timing The Birth of a Nation

democracy’. 7 Unsurprisingly, therefore, Jefferson was also an ardent proponent of teaching early medieval history, law and Anglo-Saxon at the newly emerging universities of North America. 8 Underlying such views of the early medieval – specifically Anglo-Saxon – origin of American institutions was the ‘germ theory’, proposed in the 1880s by the historian Herbert Baxter Adams, under whom both Woodrow

in Medieval film

. 49 John Aberth, A Knight at the Movies: Medieval History on Film (London, Routledge, 2003 ), p. 24. 50 Ibid ., p. 25. 51 Ibid . 52

in Terry Gilliam
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The a-chronology of medieval film

This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book argues that a playful confusion of temporalities is a fundamental characteristic not just of the term but also of medieval films themselves. Medieval films reflect on the fact that they make present a past that was never filmable and offer alternatives to chronological conceptions of time. The book traces the special relationship to temporality that characterises medieval film to its roots in the overlap of medievalism, film history and film theory. It suggests further examples of such new ways in which films that engage with the Middle Ages will be relevant to the present and future. Medieval film is not condemned to perpetuate the status quo, but, through its very position outside the historiographical and generic mainstreams can alter representations of history and cinematic modes.

in Medieval film
Film theory’s foundation in medievalism

This chapter shows that all films have been considered medieval by a surprisingly large number of influential film theorists. It argues that the conceptualisation of film as medieval in its production, transmission, aesthetics or reception originates with the earliest attempts to come to terms with the new medium and underlies many influential film theories of the twentieth century and even the most recent media theories. The chapter shows the ways in which preconceived notions of the Middle Ages filtered into and were influenced by film theory throughout the twentieth century; and to what extent film theory relies on knowledge about the Middle Ages for its basic principles. The reliance of film theory on medievalism has never been acknowledged by film scholars. This is symptomatic of the traditional divide between medieval and modern studies, where the continuities and influences of medieval thought, art and culture on modernity are rarely researched.

in Medieval film

This chapter highlights the music of four medieval films: the folk-inspired melodies of Brother Sun Sister Moon, the synthesised keyboards of Ladyhawke, the sweeping orchestration of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and the rock-and-roll soundtrack of A Knight's Tale. These films use music to bridge a gap between the postmodern and medieval and to add new narrative information that is not present in the films' visual story. Films that are set within the medieval era are examples of medievalisms - post-medieval refashionings of the medieval age, posing as the real thing. Disphasure, then, can be a useful term to describe the ways in which film music plays a unique role in films that endeavour to represent the medieval period. Symphonic music continues to be a popular option for historical films' scores, but today a film's soundtrack is a critical component in the marketing schemes, and music videos for the film.

in Medieval film