30 Mar 2023
The Green Knight (2021)
Just the Hosts
The Green Knight (2021) is a surreal retelling of the 14th century poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Directed by David Lowery, the film departs from its source material to present a compelling account of a man's mission to become a knight, live up to a legend, and face his own mortality.
The King Arthur legend is a fitting end to our season of Chosen Ones - a king who was destined to rule the Britons, fighting the invading Saxons and whom, it is said, will one day return to once again save his people. Yet in this film, we are shown the cost of living up to one's own legend, the ways in which stories are weaved around protagonists, and what being chosen may ultimately mean.
Join us as we wrap up Season One of Gods & Moviemakers. We talk about Arthurian legends, representing the past on screen, religion and magic, and of course, chosen ones. Be sure to look out for future releases and announcements concerning holiday tie-in episodes and Season Two, coming late 2023.
We don't have a guest joining us for this episode, but we'd like to thank our listeners for a great first season.
If you're interested in learning about Britain's multiracial past, we highly recommend David Olusoga's Black & British. Check out the book or the documentary series. You may also want to explore: Warwick University Classic Network's overview on "The Evidence for Diversity in Roman Britain"; This amazing reading list on race in medieval Britain; This summary of recent genetics research demonstrating diversity in medieval London; and, the Robbins Library's overview on Sir Palamedes, the Saracen knight of the round table.
E. Archibald & A. Putter (Eds), The Cambridge Companion to the Arthurian Legend. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009).
Constance Grady, "The magic, sex, and violence of the 14th-century poem behind The Green Knight." Vox.com (29 July 2021)
Delve into an amazing comparison of The Green Knight with The Last Temptation of Christ: Alissa Wilkinson, "The Green Knight is glorious and a little baffling. Let’s untangle it." Vox.com (30 July 2021). And make sure to check out our episode on The Last Temptation with Matt Page.
For an overview of the Green Man (and its association with "foliate heads"), see: "Green Man" in Simpson, J., & Roud, S. (Eds.), A Dictionary of English Folklore.( Oxford: Oxford University Press).
Costume designer, Malgosia Turzanska, provides insight into the decisions behind her beautiful costumes in This Interview with Vogue.
Representing the medieval world on film: Salih, Sarah. "Cinematic Authenticity-effects and Medieval Art: A Paradox." in Medieval Film. ed A Bernau & B Bildhauer. (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2009). pp. 20 - 39.
Religion and Magic: Corinne Saunders has published specifically on religion and magic in Arthurian legend in The Cambridge Companion to the Arthurian Legend. You may also be interested in her book, Magic and the Supernatural in Medieval English Romance. Friend of the show, Andrew Mark Henry, has produced a number of videos on religion & magic for Religion for Breakfast. Read about Merlin the Magician over at the British Library. Finally, you can hear more from Joe about the Witch of Endor in his article, "Uncovering the Dead; Dethroning the King" (co-authored with Ellena Lyell).