Thoughts on The Green Knight
Surprisingly, I don’t know much about Arthurian Legends. If you know me you would think that’s right in my wheelhouse seeing as I had no friends and was obsessed with myths for a large portion of my life. That means, going into The Green Knight I knew the bare minimum (along with some random Warhammer tidbits.)
There is a “new” style of film where the filmmaker wants you to make an intellectual conclusion before an emotional one and these films are very hard for me to fully connect with. Aster’s films are the first to come to mind when I write this but there’s countless others that are out there. There is something about this style of filmmaking that is really just the opposite of how I think about movies. Maybe it’s because I’m dumb as shit and I think I am missing something by not knowing the source material but I just feel a little left out in the cold by Lowery’s hand here. There are clear portions of this film that I can recognize as good or even great, but for me there’s just clearly something missing that is really stopping me from really liking this movie.
Throughout the film these passages appear on screen and I really loved them. To me, again I don’t know the source material, these are the starts of stanzas. This shows that Lowery has a real reverence for the source material. He’s showing the power that it has and that each portion of the epic poem are these massive scenes of thought and pondering and the fact that there’s close to ten of these in the movies is something that shouldn’t be lost upon us. He clearly loves the original poem and is trying to show us that these writings have a staying power and should be respected and revered. That’s something I can clearly get behind!
I would be straight up crazy to not mention the look and sound of this movie. I genuinely love when we see the Titular knight. When he moves it doesn’t just sound like a tree moving but the whole damn forest. It sounds like ten trees getting thrown around in the wind while birds fly around him. It’s a wonderful piece of sound design that I absolutely love. DoP Andrew Droz Palermo is doing some really great work. His only work that I know of is on V/H/S which I quite like but I never thought about the cinematography once. He really helps us understand that the journey is not that far physically but an emotional odyssey. Nothing groundbreaking but when the basic stuff is done well it looks and feels great.
I wish I liked The Green Knight more. I think the clear reverence David Lowery has for the original poem is really sweet and refreshing but his style just stops me from really liking it.