Film Corner: The Green Knight

The Green Knight

I'm so excited! We're doing a live watch! THE GREEN KNIGHT. "King Arthur's headstrong nephew embarks on a daring quest to confront the Green Knight, a mysterious giant who appears at Camelot. Risking his head, he sets off on an epic adventure to prove himself." This live-watch is generously sponsored by @beige_wallpaper and @flapflaptho, who provided the funds so I could finally buy this on Amazon. Thank you so much!! I've been wanting to watch this for FOREVER.

I have previously read two things about the Green Knight. One, this excellent retelling by @daniel_m_lavery. Two, this other retelling by the @bettermyths guy, whose book I enjoyed very much! So I am aware of the broad strokes of the story and I am excited to see how very weird this will get.

We're starting with Lord of the Rings style whispering and I'm now REALLY GLAD that I didn't see this in theaters because I wouldn't have caught any of that without captions, lol. Dev Patel is really just the most beautiful man in existence. I think he's waking up in a brothel. He isn't a knight yet and isn't quite ready for Christmas to intrude on his sleep which, mood. His mother isn't feeling Christmas this year either, which seems to distress him a little. Really gorgeous singing sets the next scene. This movie is so visually PRETTY. Wow.

KING ARTHUR IS SEAN HARRIS!! I loved him in the Borgias. He's gonna be a great King Arthur, A++ casting already. Arthur asks Gawain to come sit with him and Guinevere since Lancelot is traveling and Gawain is alone what with his mother at home "not feeling herself" (and possibly doing witchcraft? I AM NOT SURE.) Oh wow, I had genuinely forgotten that Gawain was Arthur's nephew. Are we going with the Morgan/ana/ause mother or the Anna mother. WHICH VERSION IS KIND OF IMPORTANT, lol. I guess we'll see!

Sean Harris is just the best Arthur, so much love. He wants to repair the neglected family connection between him and Gawain, but Gawain feels insecure that he hasn't done anything legendary yet. Arthur talks about how the knights have tamed the land while Morgana-Mom does witchcraft. He asks for a tale, a myth, to entertain him and his queen before they feast, and the doors ominously fly open. Definitely getting a strong vibe of "oh, you thought this land was tamed? LOL, think again."

*rubs hands together happily*

The Green Knight approaches and I love his look? He is VERY Green Man of the forest. Guin reads the challenge and Gawain leaps forward to meet the call. Arthur lends him Excalibur which...whoa. Best Arthur. THE VISUALS IN THIS MOVIE ARE STUNNING. The sounds, too! Every sound the Green Knight makes FEELS like the forest moving. The Green Knight goads Gawain into taking his head off, then stands and picks up the head, intoning "One year hence" as Gawain looks sick to his stomach and Morgana faints. Beautiful. So good.

The crowd goes wild. A year passes and those promised "riches" of fame, popularity, and social approval are showered on Gawain. He's a hero! So brave! The picture of knighthood! But he feels listless and depressed. Arthur visits Gawain in his spiral of destruction and urges him to keep his appointment with the Green Knight. "Is it wrong to want greatness for you?" Priests offer prayers, young witches chant spells. No one wants Gawain to die.

Morgana gives him a green sash to wear about his waist for protection. His brothel girlfriend begs him to stay. ("Why must you be great? Why isn't goodness enough?") Have I mentioned the VISUALS in this film? It is ART.

Gawain gets directions to the Green Chapel from a scavenger who seems suspicious. The boy directs him into a scary forest to follow a stream. This will probably be fine! Ayup, there it is. The scavenger set him up for an ambush to be robbed. We will not be rating the scavenger highly on Yelp, I can say that much. (I want that yellow cloak so much??) Gawain manages to work himself out of his bonds, but he's bereft of horse, shield, axe, and pretty much everything else. He is also extremely lost.

He finds what appears to be an abandoned cottage and falls asleep in the bed, waking only when a young woman asks what he's doing in her bed. OH SHIT SHE GLIDES. I THINK SHE'S A GHOST. Oh god. She needs her head back. That's...that's so sad. Gawain helps her and she warns him that the Green Knight is "someone you know". The axe returns to him, though I'm not entirely sure how. This is beautifully trippy. Like a dream.

I do love how Gawain has been stripped of the outward trappings of knighthood / nobility, which definitely makes this trip seem more desperate and scary. There is a fox and I would die for it. Kissmate has named the fox "Pumpkin". God, the use of COLOR in this movie is so amazing. He just fell down a cliff and there was a single bright orange marigold and it just. Wow.

Well, see, now I don't know if the trippy things are really happening or if they're just the result of a bad mushroom trip. OH MAN, I WISH I'D SEEN THIS PART IN IMAX, MY STOMACH IS INTRIGUED.

Ooh, is this Bertilak's castle? Hahaha, his host is a bear! IS THIS THE BEAUTY AND THE BEAST CASTLE. The Bertilaks are so perfectly cast, my god. I love them. How was everyone in this movie cast so well. Lady Bertilak skulks about the castle being terrifying and Lord Bertilak proposes his little gift-giving game: whatever Gawain gets in the house is to be given to the Lord. (Dear Married Couples: Do not treat your unicorn this way!)

There's a VERY interesting discussion of the color green: how it's growth but also rot, nature but also sickness. The Lord and Lady are doing an amazing job as the fae that Christendom cannot conquer or tame. I love them both. Aww, the fox is talking and it's terrifying and I love him. He's warning Gawain to turn back and go home. Gawain waiting for Christmas Day to arrive while the Green Chapel lives and breathes around him is just... wow. Chef's kiss.

I have a confusion? DID THAT BASTARD JUST- Are we seeing, like, a cautionary tale/vision of the sort of person he'd be if he turned back? Oh gosh, he had a little pocket made so he could always reach down and touch the safety-sash and make sure he was still wearing it? HE'S THE GIRL WITH THE RIBBON CHOKER WHOSE HEAD FALLS OFF WITHOUT IT, OH MY GOD. Haha! I called that it was a vision of the kind of (terrible) man he could become and I'm glad.

That movie was really lovely, thank you so much for making it possible? I feel like I had a really lovely lucid dream. AHHH, THIS IS SO GOOD: The Green Knight doesn't have to discuss race to be about race.


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