Saturday, 13 May 2017

FILM REVIEW: EXCALIBUR, Further Right than Far Right

John Boorman's spectacular Arthurian epic Excalibur is one of those films everyone ought to have seen. It is one of those rarest of gems: a film that ennobles the spirit just by dint of having watched it. It is a Gesamtkunstwerk of the highest order that lifts one onto a higher plane, so that when one leaves the cinema, one has the barely controllable urge to do great deeds. And it is a film for the Right - not necessarily for the Alternative Right, but for the True Right, for the Right without compromise, for the Right that is elitist, for the Right that strives for the highest, for the Right that lies beyond the tainted, half-hearted measures of Fascism and National Socialism, yet which eschews despotism and embraces paternalism.

 

 

 

There have been many reinterpretations of the legend in just about every medium possible. Famous filmic versions include Knights of the Round Table (1953), Camelot (1967), First Knight (1995) and King Arthur (2004), and there is an upcoming treatment of the legend called King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, a typical Guy Ritchie affair, where Sir Bedevere is played by a Negro. And these people have the audacity to talk about cultural appropriation! Next they will be trying to claim the pyramids..... Oh wait..... And I thought after the disaster that was Antoine Fuqua's King Arthur, it could not get any worse. It always does though.

 

 

 

The major difference between those latter two works and Excalibur is in style and interpretation. The latter two present a veritisimilitable quasi-historical version lifted from Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, while Excalibur's source material is Thomas Malory's Le Mort d'Arthur with support from Alfred Lord Tennyson's Idylls of the King. The reason for this is the films by Fuqua and Ritchie are typical examples of Leftist propaganda, both tools for promoting the immigrant invasion, just as Monmouth's Historia was a tool to legitimate the Norman-Breton invasion. Boorman, like Malory and especially Tennyson, concentrates more on the mythic, and is therefore, in accordance with Julius Evola's assertions, Rightist. It also borrows themes from Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle, which in turn was inspired by the mythic texts Der Nibelungenlied and Volsungasaga. The use of Wagner's music is extremely apt, for Excalibur is a modern Gesamtkunswerk of the highest order.

 

 

 

Wagner's vision of Gesamtkunstwerk was operatic, combining music, lyrical poetry, theatre and artistic mise-en-scène that formed an organic whole. This post-Wagnerian Gesamtkunstwerk for the age of cinema combines music, prose dialogue that reaches the level of prose-poetry (thanks to scripwriters Rospo Pallenberg and Boorman himself) and artistic cinematography. Such scenes include the scene in which Merlin bids farewell to Arthur as the sun symbolically sets, and the one in which the knights all in gleaming armour first gather at the Round Table in a glimmering Camelot (see further above). In addition to Wagner's Ring of which 'Siegrieds Todesmarsch' is used as a refrain, Wagner's Tristan und Isolde and Parsifal, as well as Carl Orff's 'O Fortuna' from Carmen Burana add to the musical score. This is also interesting from a Rightist perspective, as the Wagner family and Orff were heavily involved with the German National Socialist state.

 

 

 

Yet the film reminds us that there are both congruencies and differences between National Socialism and the True Right, as Evola often noted. Evola's thought itself is sometimes flawed though, particularly with regard to the subject of race, Evola's flaw arising from the post-Pagan notion of a spirit-mind-body split, whereas energy and matter impinge one upon the other. The National Socialist attempt to recreate a racially homogenous society was perfectly moral and in tune with Natural Order. The cast of Excalibur is racially homogenous. Sir Lancelot (played by Nicholas Clay) in particular, is the model of Nordic Aryan masculinity and serves to contrast Arthur's (Nigel Terry) lack of heroism upon taking on a role as lawmaker and civilizer, hence Quinevere's (Cherie Lunghi) attraction to him as warrior Übermensch. Lancelot has always served as this archetype, particularly as a personification of 'muscular Christanity', since his creation by Chrétien de Troyes. In contrast, Jollywood Jews Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz have cast Negro actor Sinqua Walls in their series Once Upon a Time to undermine this European archetype. This follows (((The Disney Channel's))) casting of African-Puerto Rican actor Christopher Tavarez in Avalon High, complete with cuckolding of a White European Arthur/Will Wagner (played by a Jewish actor in Gregg Sulkin) with Guinevere/Jennifer (played by golden-haired, blue-eyed actress Molly Quinn).

 

 

 

The aforementioned theme of Paganism versus Christianity comes very much to the fore. Throughout the film, the world becomes increasingly Christianised. Arthur's marriage to Guinevere is a distinctly Christian ceremony, complete with image of Christ's head on a banner and priest, which contrasts with the earlier ceremony of the sword-drawing contest, which is presided over by a druid. Merlin (an excellent Nicol Williamson) exposes the foreign nature of Christianity, as he laments to Morgana (Helen Mirren) that:

 

The one god comes to drive out the many gods. The spirits of wood and stream grow silent. It's the way of things. Yes. It's a time for men and their ways.




 

It is interesting that Merlin makes a clear distinction between the worlds of men and of Nature, that the new god opposes Nature and that men, in accepting the new god, will abandon Nature. This split between man and Nature is at the heart of liberalism in which Western Man is considered as apart from and not a part of Nature. This foreshadows the land's decay and the birth of Arthur's unnatural son, Mordred, to his half-sister, Morgana (in a departure from the existing Arthurian canon and a move towards incestuous themes in Der Ring des Nibelungen). This of course asks questions of the Grail, what it is and what it represents, for it is noticeable that it is never referred to as 'the Holy Grail' in the entire film. This leaves it open to interpretation as to whether the Grail is the cup used at the Last Supper or a druidic Grail of Celtic legend, for it certainly has the powers of restoration associated with, say, the Cauldron of Annwn. Without going too much into Christian and Pagan themes here, suffice it to say that the two coexist....if somewhat uneasily, rather like in the Alt Right.

 

 

 

The Grail's restoration of Arthur after his period of life-in-death also restores his knowledge of what it means to be king. Here, we must look at his decline and failure first, for in this, we see the lesson drawn from our own history, of why the True Right collapsed. After leading his knights to triumph against and enemy known only as 'the invaders', Camelot is built, housing the famous Round Table, where all the knights could gather. In this period of civilization-building that coincides with Christianisation, Arthur takes a back seat, creating a system of law that runs like clockwork. Of Merlin, he asks somewhat too proudly:

 

Then answer me this: for years, peace has reigned in the land; crops grow in abundance; there's no want; every one of my subjects enjoys happiness and justice - tell me, Merlin, have we defeated evil, because it seems we have?

 

This and Merlin's answer that "Good and evil, there never is one without the other" prompts Sir Gawain's outburst about Guinevere's lust for Sir Lancelot, an outburst that is made possible by Arthur's democratic leanings in creating the Round Table that gives a voice to all. Arthur's woes are compounded when he refuses to defend his wife's honour, as he must judge as king before fight as husband, much to the dismay of Guinevere. He therefore chooses civilization over barbarity, societal law over the Natural law of defending one's loved ones. Ultimately, Arthur has created these laws himself and they reveal a man who is increasingly willing to embrace the passivity of Christianity of his own volition. After all, why does there need to be a judge in a trial of combat?

 

 

 

 

Equally, Guinevere is correct when she states that "In the idleness of peace, I see that gossip has spread its own evil." This is an eternal truth. As the True Right has always known, without real struggle, the human mind will artificially create struggle, hence the rise of the Social Justice Warrior from the creamy all-too-comfortable bourgeoisie and their crusades against all manner of invented abstractions that boil down to a struggle against Nature herself. The True Right has always known that a balance between order and chaos, between what Nietzsche termed the Apollonian and Dionysian, is necessary for heroic masculinity not to be negated. And deep inside every woman is a desire to be saved by a hero, no matter how much she rails against 'the patriarchy'.

 

 

Indeed, women prove to be rather problematic in the film, which no doubt will please the Manosphere types who love to point to women as 'the enemy'. Morgana is indeed a representation of evil, but Guinevere is all too human, and her betrayal of Arthur is seen equally as stemming from Arthur's betrayal of her in the scene we have explored. Morgana is a more simplistic character, however, and driven by the pursuit of power. In this, she could well be seen as a feminist, especially as she raises her child Mordred as a single mother after getting 'a bit rapey' with her own half-brother. The scene in which she uses magic to trick Arthur into begetting a son is a gender reversal of the earlier one between Uther and Igraine that produces Arthur himself. Raised by a woman alone, Mordred grows to become spoilt and violent, eventually committing matricide and attempting patricide. Again, how often have we seen the sons of single mothers grow up to be criminals and have severe psychological problems?

 

 

Arthur's passivity leads to his problems with both his men and with women. His cuckolding and sexual assault leads to his impotence. In turn, this leads to the land decaying. The Grail gives him the knowledge that he has lost: he and the land are one. This is what kingship means: to be custodian of the land - something that has been forgotten by present monarchs, who see it regularly traded by merchants to foreign speculators for mere shekels. It is something for which, even two centuries ago, the great Tory poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge berated the British aristocracy. Arthur also gains knowledge of his other failure:

 

"Ready my knight for battle. They will ride with their king once more. I have live through others far too long. Lancelot carried my honour, and Guinevere my guilt, Mordred bore my sins, my knights have fought my causes. Now, my brother, I shall be....King."

 

This is the realisation that, as Thomas Carlyle pointed out, the king is etymologically the 'ableman', the best of men. The king is warrior leader and culture hero, is responsible for folk and land. The scene is followed by one of the most memorable in cinematic history, as Arthur and his knights ride through the land reborn into blossom to the uplifting sounds of Carl Orff's "O Fortuna".

 

 

The scene is one of many memorable ones in the film. Certainly, one of the reasons they are made memorable is the use of singular bright colours that carry symbolic weight. The green glow of Nature shows her Pagan power, particularly when Arthur first draws the sword and spends the night in the forest with Merlin, but also when Lancelot and Guinevere give into their passions and meet in the forest. One must inevitably mention the eponymous sword, for the blade itself, "forged when the world was new", glows green. The knights' armour also change colour from dull charcoal to shining silver, as the Dark Ages give way to Arthur's civilized yet too ordered Renaissance, although one notes Arthur often dispenses with armour over time, as he retreats into passivity. One notes the first knight to wear silver armour is Lancelot, who will be both the hero and downfall of this Renaissance. Then there is the blue of power, whenever magic is used or symbolised, particularly in relation to Merlin, and so on.

 

 

Yet for all this, the film received mixed reviews from the critics. This is largely because critics of the time all hailed from the same middle-brow liberal clique. The film critic Roger Ebert, while praising the cinematography, simply did not understand the film because they have no grounding in their own culture. Ebert criticised the characterisation in particular and could not understand why Morgana could trick the great Merlin into imprisonment. If he had bothered to read Arthurian legend, Merlin is powerful and wise when it comes to aiding the realm, but has extreme personal frailties. Had Ebert read Tennyson's Idylls of the King and paid more attention to the film, he would have realised Merlin is infatuated with Morgana. In Idylls, it is Vivien rather than Morgana, but in Excalibur, many of the characters have been condensed from several in the cannon, the most notable being Perceval, who also takes on the roles of Galahad and Bedivere. Tennyson has Merlin imprisoned in an oak tree, but the story is almost the same:

 

She blamed herself for telling hearsay tales:
She shook from fear, and for her fault she wept
Of petulancy; she called him lord and liege,
Her seer, her bard, her silver star of eve,
Her God, her Merlin, the one passionate love
Of her whole life; and ever overhead
Bellowed the tempest, and the rotten branch
Snapt in the rushing of the river-rain
Above them; and in change of glare and gloom
Her eyes and neck glittering went and came;
Till now the storm, its burst of passion spent,
Moaning and calling out of other lands,
Had left the ravaged woodland yet once more
To peace; and what should not have been had been,
For Merlin, overtalked and overworn,
Had yielded, told her all the charm, and slept.

   Then, in one moment, she put forth the charm
Of woven paces and of waving hands,
And in the hollow oak he lay as dead,
And lost to life and use and name and fame.

   Then crying "I have made his glory mine,"
 

And shrieking out "O fool!" the harlot leapt 

Adown the forest, and the thicket closed
Behind her, and the forest echoed "fool."

 

Ebert states that the characters are "not heroes but giants run amok." This is the perspective of the liberal bourgeois. The film is so alien to Ebert and his clique because it is utterly illiberal. It is simultaneously highbrow and populist and, for a full understanding, relies on a knowledge of European culture beyond bourgeois parameters. It is a film that explores the eternal truths that the True Right represents, for, as Merlin so rightly says when asked what the greatest quality of knighthood is:


"Truth. That's it. Yes. It must be truth. Above all. When a man lies, he murders some part of the world. You should know that."


14 comments:

  1. Great blog post. Excalibur has been my favourite film since seeing it as a child. It moved something deep inside of me. Now, as an adult, I realise that it spoke to my very dna as a northern European. As English. It is a profoundly, transcendentally beautiful film. A hymn to the complexities of our ethnic nature.

    Surprisingly (shockingly) this is the first time I have seen this film mentioned in the Alt Right. It should be the standard to which we aspire as we move forward to creating new art of our own. Only recently I was reflecting on the films we might have had without the influence of Jewish mores. All those other Excaliburs that have not been made about our heroes and achievements. A whole canon of films that our children might have been raised on to believe in themselves and feel gratitude for the endeavours of their ancestors.

    Bless John Boorman for showing us a glimpse of what is possible. Of how art can be created to defend what was... and the dream of what could be.

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  2. This split between man and Nature is at the heart of liberalism in which Western Man is considered as apart from and not a part of Nature.

    There are many facets to liberalism. In some ways, liberalism was about the return of nature and sexuality. Liberals saw Conservatives, especially Christians, as the suppressors of natural energies, especially of sexuality. Liberal Boomers are nostalgic about the 60s because it was about Return to Nature, or Back to the Garden. Rock Music, Sex, and Drugs were supposed to reconnect modern man with his natural essence.

    But then, there is another side of Liberalism that fears nature as the aggressive warrior-side of man that tends toward tribalism based on racial differences.

    This foreshadows the land's decay and the birth of Arthur's unnatural son, Mordred, to his half-sister, Morgana (in a departure from the existing Arthurian canon and a move towards incestuous themes in Der Ring des Nibelungen).

    I don't think the rise of Morgana & Mordred has anything to do with Nature vs Christianity. Morgana and Mordred represent the Malevolence of Power(any kind of power) misused for vanity and megalomania. Morgana represents the dark side of the Dragon's power, the demonic force. She also represents the Will to become god. She has powers like Merlin, who recognized something special in her. But if Merlin uses his special knowledge to guide man, Morgana is into vanity. Merlin is like half-man/half-god who cares about mankind. Morgana is half-woman/half-god who wants to be full-god and give birth to a god-man. She seeks immortality. She is about the vanity of power.

    This of course asks questions of the Grail, what it is and what it represents, for it is noticeable that it is never referred to as 'the Holy Grail' in the entire film.

    As Boorman envisioned it, the Grail is the lost truth. The Grail is also an illusion and mirage. It doesn't exist yet exists only when people realize it doesn't exist. That's the paradox of the Grail. Arthur sent his knights to seek the Grail OUT THERE in a physical quest on horseback. They think it's a physical object that can be found like a treasure. Later, we discover the Grail is not a thing. It is a state-of-mind, a realization. It cannot be found OUT THERE. It can only be found WITHIN. Perceval finally grasps it when he realizes that it's really about hope and reconnecting with the roots of truth and honor. So, in a way, the Grail was always right there in the hearts of Arthur, Perceval, and all the knights. They just forgot it. It's like what Joel McCrea tells Randolph Scott at the end of RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY. McCrea says goodness and honor were always there in Scott's heart, but he just forgot it, that's all.

    https://youtu.be/K0oq7SubkLQ?t=1m46s

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    1. I don't see liberalism as in any way a return to Nature. The sexuality you mention is sterile and without meaning or purpose. It is merely a reaction to both true European traditionalism and to Christianity (which is itself unnatural). Yes, there are many facets to the film too numerous to expore in my short introductory review and there is scope to write many more articles on the film. I never mentioned Morgana was to do with Nature vs Christianity, just that the birth from incest is unnatural. As for Zardoz, which you mention later, I was in the middle of reviewing it and have now posted the article.

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  3. This and Merlin's answer that "Good and evil, there never is one without the other" prompts Sir Gawain's outburst about Guinevere's lust for Sir Lancelot, an outburst that is made possible by Arthur's democratic leanings in creating the Round Table that gives a voice to all. Arthur's woes are compounded when he refuses to defend his wife's honour, as he must judge as king before fight as husband, much to the dismay of Guinevere. He therefore chooses civilization over barbarity, societal law over the Natural law of defending one's loved ones. Ultimately, Arthur has created these laws himself and they reveal a man who is increasingly willing to embrace the passivity of Christianity of his own volition. After all, why does there need to be a judge in a trial of combat?

    It's not that simple. The Round Table is not democratic. It is aristocratic and open ONLY to the knights who'd been there with Arthur in the founding of Camelot. And there is hierarchy, with Arthur as King and with Lancelot as the greatest knight. And Arthur's refusal to fight makes sense because Gawain not only impugned Guinevere but Lancelot. His terse words dishonored both of them. So, even if Arthur were to condemn Gawain to death or fight him, Lancelot's honor would still be besmirched.
    So, the proper thing is for Lancelot to defend Guinevere's honor. And if not him, one of the other knights who have faith him Lancelot and Guinevere. Also, another reason why it must be Lancelot or one of the knights is that the Arthurian World is a magical place. As Arthur says, in a duel for honor, the wrong cannot win over the right. And this is why none of the knights will come forward to defend Guinevere. They too suspect, along with Gawain, that there are certain dark feelings between Lancelot and Guinevere. And Lancelot too is uncertain about what action to take because, as he says, they(he and the queen) are innocent in body but not of heart. So, Lancelot is anxious of championing the queen because he may lose. He may be the greatest knight, but the Magic of the Arthurian World will favor the righteous over the wrong in a duel. So, he has to purge himself of his wrongful feelings before finally arriving to defend the queen. But in his self-purging, he has seriously wounded himself. He wins the duel but with a cloud of uncertainty. Gawain begs for mercy and says the queen is innocent. Lancelot still tries to kill him, but the Magic prevents him from doing so, and Lancelot himself collapses.

    Also, Arthur's action cannot be called 'passivity'. If anything, he sticks to the law because he is very active in being a good king. Also, the pagan 'karma' of the Arthurian universe disfavors the rash and barbaric. Uther was rough-and-tumble, but he didn't last very long. He was not The One, and the Dragon let him die.

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  4. Equally, Guinevere is correct when she states that "In the idleness of peace, I see that gossip has spread its own evil." This is an eternal truth. As the True Right has always known, without real struggle, the human mind will artificially create struggle, hence the rise of the Social Justice Warrior from the creamy all-too-comfortable bourgeoisie and their crusades against all manner of invented abstractions that boil down to a struggle against Nature herself.

    Actually, Guinevere is being disingenuous. The 'struggle' wasn't artificially created. It was always there. Indeed, when Guinevere and Lancelot first saw each other, they fell in instant and deep love. But they couldn't be lovers since Guinevere promised herself to Arthur, who is also Lancelot's best friend. So, Guinevere married Arthur, and they all pretended everything was hunky dory. But in fact, Guinevere and Lancelot were lovesick for one another. So, the tension that flows forth from this repressed love is not due to some idle chatter but the exposure of the hidden truth.
    Arthur never suspected it because he loved Guinevere too much and trusted Lancelot too much. But others did notice it(if in silence), and Morgana exploited it to drive a wedge among the knights. The sexual dynamics are profoundly important in the Arthurian Universe since it is a world of warriors, and top alpha women go with the best knights. Arthur, as king, is the leader of knights. So, it is natural that he should have Guinevere. But there is an unease because Lancelot is actually the better warrior. And unbeknownst to Lancelot, he was not really beaten by Arthur. Arthur cheated and drew power from Excalibur to defeat Lancelot. But Lancelot thinks Arthur beat him fair and square, and that is why he pledged allegiance to Arthur. So, their friendship, beautiful as it is, was founded on a falsehood. The superior warrior Lancelot submitted to Arthur on the belief that Arthur beat him in combat.

    By rule of nature, the top woman wants to go with the toughest man. But in civilization, power is gained not only by fighting but by statecraft, wit, and wisdom. And Arthur has those qualities, of course with the help of Merlin. So, he is king, and Guinevere went with him. But her natural womanly side still lusts after Lancelot, the greater warrior.
    This is relevant to the Modern West because black men are tougher, more muscular, and more athletic than white males. This is why John Boorman appreciates THE BIRTH OF A NATION, which is about sexual anxiety, very much like Arthurian Legend is. White men long ago feared the Negro man who is stronger, more muscular, and bigger-donged.
    In nature, the strongest and toughest warrior-hunter gets the best women. In civilization, men can gain power with smarts and skills. So, best women often go with successful men who may not be the strongest or most attractive. That is the tension of the Modern West. White men, having higher intelligence, do better than black men economically. So, successful white men get top white women. But then, white people watch sports and watch pop culture and see the Negro Man kicking the white boy's ass. This leads to Cuck Mentality.

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  5. In a way, there is a certain logic to why the Negro is often featured in the role of Lancelot in these new Jollywood tellings. In the Modern West, black males dominate sports and sex culture. So, they are the Top Warrior archetype. And that is why increasing number of white women are into jungle fever, betraying white men, and offering their wombs to be Afro-colonized. They see black men as the superior warrior and stud. Look at Sports Illustrated. The top male athletes are black, and the bikini models are white. Look at athletes and cheerleaders in NFL and NBA. Mostly black male players and white cheerleaders. THAT is the greatest threat facing the white race: ACOWW, or Afro-Colonization of White Wombs. White guys wanna believe that it's all about blacks raping white women, but in fact, tons of white women Go Negro because they got jungle fever for the superior stud.

    Anyway, what happens among Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot was anticipated by Merlin who told Arthur that, yes he will marry Guinevere but will be betrayed by his best friend.
    So, it goes to show that even a temperate man like Arthur can become blind to the bigger picture out of love. Even so, I think what Arthur and Guinevere feel for one another is love whereas the feelings between Guinevere and Lancelot are much stronger: it is pure animal lust.

    And deep inside every woman is a desire to be saved by a hero, no matter how much she rails against 'the patriarchy'.

    Yeah, but the problem is that Guinevere wants to be 'saved' from Arthur by Lancelot. In a way, the problem is that Guinevere feels 'oppressed' by the security offered by Arthur. It provides her with privilege, wealth, safety, and nice things. But what she wants most is to be taken by Lancelot. In a way, she wants to be 'unsaved' from civilization and be taken by barbarism of lust. So, it's not so much that a woman wants to be 'saved'. She wants to be taken by the Winner. This is why those Romance novels are about women being abducted and conquered by the superior man, the 'bad boys'. This is why Helen of Troy doesn't want to be saved. She finds Paris to be more desirable than her husband. She collaborated in the 'abduction'. A woman wants to be saved ONLY IF the savior is the superior man. But if the would-be-savior is the inferior man, she prefers to be taken by the superior pirate, thief, or lover-boy.

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  6. Indeed, women prove to be rather problematic in the film, which no doubt will please the Manosphere types who love to point to women as 'the enemy'. Morgana is indeed a representation of evil, but Guinevere is all too human, and her betrayal of Arthur is seen equally as stemming from Arthur's betrayal of her in the scene we have explored.

    Everyone is problematic in EXCALIBUR, but things get complicated with women because their power is subtler and more mysterious. Men are problematic, but their conflicts are settled with brain or brawn. In contrast, some women have this beauty-and-allure thing that is more than brawn or brains. Also, it's not just about looks. Guinevere is attractive but not the most beautiful women. But she enchants men because of her personality. She has a special touch, a sparkle.
    Also, Guinevere's betrayal of Arthur has nothing to do with his supposed 'betrayal' of her. She had betrayed Arthur in her heart from the moment when her eyes met Lancelot's. On that wedding day, even though she went off to marry Arthur, she was madly in love with Lancelot. And when she saw wounded Lancelot on the bed nude after the duel, the combination her lust and her compassion for Lancelot was just too much, and she couldn't hold it back anymore. She was caught in a conundrum. If she goes off to make love to Lancelot, she would be betraying her husband and duty as queen. But if she didn't run off to Lancelot, she would be betraying her heart that is really in love with him.

    As for Morgana, she is not a simple character at all. She is the most complicated character after Merlin. In a way, we can understand her rage and bitterness. After all, Merlin conspired with Uther to have her father, the Duke of Cornwall, killed. This was especially unjust because it was Uther who broke the peace. Merlin was angry with Uther, but he decided to salvage the situation by having Uther 'rape' and impregnate Igraine. Merlin foresaw the death of Uther but a new order arising from Arthur, son of Uther. But there was collateral damage in this plot. Though Merlin did this for the greater good, he had to commit an evil. He had to help Uther 'rape' Igraine and kill Duke of Cornwall. Thus, Morgana lost her father and witnessed her mother being raped by Uther. So, in a way, she is loyal to her father. She is avenging what was done to her family. It's like Lady Kaeda the avenger in Kurosawa's RAN. She is justified in her rage and hatred.

    But she is about more than justice. She is special, like Merlin. She has the vision, and she is consumed with vanity of power. She justifies her action on revenge for what was done to her family, but she goes way beyond vengeance because lust for power has its own logic.
    But then, this was true of communism and nazism. Communism justified itself as revenge of the oppressed working class, but its power-lust led to greater evils. And Nazism was initially justified on Germany's humiliation in WWI and Versailles Treaty. Hitler rose to power speaking of national justice and restoration. But he was consumed with power-lust and didn't know where to stop. Power is like that. Jews and Negroes also gained power in the name of righting historical wrongs, but they too became engulfed with power for power's sake. Today, black rappers are into thug power, and Jews are mad about globalist domination. Jews went from Holocaust-remembrance to acting like Zionist-Nazis.

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    1. Which historical wrongs are you referring to...or did you mean hysterical wrongs?
      I hope you don't mean to imply that the Negro and Jew is justified in any way using slavery as an excuse?
      I know why they do it, of course, because it works. And it will continue to work...until it doesn't.
      So-called White guilt is the driving force behind the destruction of Western civilization, and until such time as it is cast aside with impunity, there is only further to fall.
      Truth is, no one can save you from yourself.

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  7. Arthur's passivity leads to his problems with both his men and with women. His cuckolding and sexual assault leads to his impotence. In turn, this leads to the land decaying.

    It's not his passivity that leads to the fall. Rather, it's his reneging on his duty as king due to personal angst. When he discovers that Guinevere and Lancelot betrayed him, the proper thing would have been to kill them. And he went off to kill them. But he just couldn't do it. He still felt too much love for them. And because he is a wise man, he can read their hearts. He understands why it happened. Merlin once said that Uther could't look into the hearts of men. Arthur can look into the hearts of others, and he realizes that Lancelot and Guinevere are not evil and didn't meant to hurt him, Arthur. It's just this crazy thing called lust/love.

    Arthur could have done two things: The proper thing as king and killed them both as they slept. Or, he could have walked away with Excalibur and returned to being King.
    Instead, he abandons Excalibur, Merlin's special gift to him. Merlin led Arthur to the Sword of Power to be king. A king must rise above his personal angst and think of the good of society. But Arthur, distraught over Guinevere and Lancelot, just abandons the sword and returns to his castle to wallow in misery. He forgets what Merlin told him: 'You and the Land are one.' Arthur's abandonment of Excalibur was like a betrayal of Merlin. When Arthur drives the sword into the ground and walks away, we see the sword striking into the back of Merlin, and he too becomes disoriented.

    I think the idea of 'you and the land are one' has multiple meanings. It means the relation between leader and the land, but it also means the connection between mind/soul and body.

    Yet for all this, the film received mixed reviews from the critics. This is largely because critics of the time all hailed from the same middle-brow liberal clique.

    Actually, Ebert's criticism was justified. Even at 2 hrs and 20 min, there is a lot of material that isn't properly developed. It's a film that should have been epic in scope: one more hour would have fleshed more details. Still, many critics were blind to the film's many virtues.
    Ebert, Siskel, and many critics also devalued BLADE RUNNER for the same reason. They focused so much on plot and characters that they overlooked the real strengths of the film.

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  8. I don't think Ebert's lack of appreciation had to do with politics. After all, Ebert later recommended CONAN THE BARBARIAN and RAMBO, more blatantly 'right-wing' movies. I think he focused on the wrong things: story and characters. He felt there was too many things happening without proper development, and he was right in a way.
    Pauline Kael, an admirer or Boorman and who wrote a mostly glowing review, also noted that the movie has problems of continuity and characterizaton. (Kael's review of the film is one of the best in film criticism. It's in the volume TAKING IT ALL IN.) http://www.geocities.ws/paulinekaelreviews/e3.html

    I think EXCALIBUR is one of the greatest films ever. The only film of similar time and setting is THE 13TH WARRIOR, which tragically bombed at the box office... whereas a totally worthless pile of crap like LOTR raked in big bucks. It goes to show what a dumb-dumb world we are living in.

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  9. With one movie, Boorman conveyed more ideas and poetry than all the STAR WARS movies combined. Boorman also made a fascinating sci-fi film with ZARDOZ, one of the most relevant films given what is happening in the world.

    Boorman presented Big Ideas with poetics, romance, grandeur. And he took inspiration not only from Arthurian legends but from Germanic mythology as revitalized by Wagner.
    And the relationship between Merlin and Arthur is among the richest put on screen.

    Merlin is an ambiguous character. Always anxious because he sees MORE. So, if humans are rejoicing over some victory and celebrating like it’s the End of History and their side won, Merlin foresees dangers ahead and remembers such fleeting moments in the past. Even at the worst of times, he sees chances of hope. Even at best of times, he sees disasters hiding behind every rock. He is like a less amoral Indrid Cold in MOTHMAN PROPHECIES. His vision is from a higher plane. He can look further over the horizon. So, he’s never satisfied or content with good times in the here-and-now. He’s always worried because to know more is to be aware that everything is fleeting, no matter how sturdy and stable it may seem for the time being.
    But there’s also a detached & aloof quality about him. Despite his involvement with humans, he is not of any particular world. And he’s seen it all — the cycles of rise and fall — before in other worlds. And there are other worlds after THIS ONE. This detachment is an advantage but also a sadness. Because he isn’t attached to a single time and place, he can continue in other worlds even if the current world falls into ruin. But because he isn’t loyal to a single time and place, he doesn’t really belong to any one or any people. In the end, he is a wanderer, a stranger to all. Ben Kenobi and Yoda are supposed to be like Merlin figures in STAR WARS, but Kenobi is too goody-goody, and Yoda is a muppet.

    Merlin tried to help Uther, but it was hopeless. Uther was too impulsive, too primal. He couldn’t control his anger, his lust. As Merlin says, Uther couldn’t look into the hearts of other men. Everything was about himself and his immediate desires. He risked everything for a romp with Igraine because he lusted after her. Because he fails to look into the hearts of other men, he alienates them and makes too many enemies and falls in the end.
    But the great irony is Arthur is created by Uther’s most foolhardly deed, the sexual conquest of Igraine. Merlin realizes that his failure was Uther was part of the ‘plan’ because the failure fertilized the success(if limited) with Arthur.

    Arthur is smarter and more sensible than Uther. Arthur is cautious, like Michael Corleone is more cautious than Sonny Corleone. And with the aid of Merlin, he learns to look into the hearts of others. He has empathy, he has understanding. He not only battles the knights who oppose his kingship but reaches out to them in understanding. Ultimately, he wins over Euryens not by force of arms but force of virtue.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eC_TFoGhqUU

    He is also capable of self-criticism. When the sword breaks in his battle with Lancelot, he confesses that his pride and ego broke it. He was supposed to use Excalibur to unite all men, but he used it for personal vanity and vendetta. This wisdom is an advantage, and the Lady of the Lake forgives him and restores Excalibur.

    https://youtu.be/gWgLtF2h6Zc?t=35s

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  10. But the world of EXCALIBUR Is fraught with contradictions and paradoxes. It’s like Merlin says everything has its opposites. Also, the opposite of something may actually be nearest to it or hiding within it.
    It’s like Michael remembering his father’s advice in THE GODFATHER II: keep your friends close but your enemies closer. In EXCALIBUR, Arthur asks where evil is, and Merlin says it is always where you least expect it. Evil isn’t necessarily OUT THERE SOMEWHERE but just around the corner, in your own domain, right behind you, or even right in front of you. It’s like the biggest enemy of the white race is not Russia, China, or Iran, some foreign nations far away. It is the PC virus within the very core of the West. An external enemy can be fought with sword or gun. But the virus has penetrated into your very cells.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8bQ2xgZCik&t=1s

    Just as evil could be right in front of you or within you without you noticing, so can the truth & redemption. The biggest truth could be invisible because it’s hidden within one’s soul or standing right in front of you, thus out of focus. After all, the knights who went off to on the quest of the Holy Grail were misguided in thinking it was out there somewhere. Perceval discovers that the truth is actually within his own soul, indeed it’s always been there. He just forgot it, as did Arthur. It’s like the scene in RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY where the dying hero tells his partner that there was good within him all along: he just forgot it, that’s all. (Given the out-of-control sexual politics among youth today, HIGH COUNTRY offers some sobering lessons about impulsive behavior among the youth, but also how excessive puritanism — like with Elsa’s father — can make things worse.) The ‘holy grail’ was within Arthur himself. He just forgot what Merlin had taught him.

    https://youtu.be/K0oq7SubkLQ?t=1m48s

    And yet, there is a paradox to Arthur’s decline. It was precisely because he was wise and could read the hearts of other men. Everything has its opposites. The source of wisdom and duty could also lead to weakness and doubt. When he discovers that Lancelot, his best friend, had betrayed him(by taking Guinevere), he wants to kill Lancelot and his wife. But he can’t make himself do it because he has empathy. He can look into the hearts of Lancelot & Guinevere and understand why what happened happened. Despite his rage, he is also full of understanding. So, he hesitates and finds it impossible to kill his friend and wife. His wisdom makes him understand more but also renders him ‘weak’ and lacking in resolve to carry out the execution.

    But there is the tragedy. He surrenders Excalibur, the greatest gift bestowed to him by Merlin and Lady of the Lake. In doing so, he abandons his role as king. A king is supposed to serve something bigger than his ego and self. Whatever his personal foibles, he is supposed to rise higher and rule for the good of the people. But Arthur, so depressed over the Lancelot/Guinevere affair, withdraws into his own misery and becomes despondent like Scottie in VERTIGO. He just tunes out everything. If he were a private individual, it wouldn’t matter. But as leader, he has a kingdom to rule and must never renege on his duty and responsibility. Whatever his personal setback, he must rise higher and rule for the good of all. But he just surrenders Excalibur and walks away to bury himself in his own misery. And the moment when he drives Excalibur into the ground proves most vulnerable for Merlin who feels the blade strike into his back. His gift to Arthur has been abandoned, Arthur has violated his covenant with the sword, and there is disturbance in the Dragon. It is in that moment of confusion and distress that Morgana gains control of Merlin’s dazed wits and use his magic against him.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jahLEB3DbKs

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  11. Nice review. May I recommend this long video analysis I made a year or so ago https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8Ro73vofC8

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  12. Boorman's films are strategically positioned in the culture wars and, in my long-considered opinion, he is _not_ on the "right" side. Let me explain:

    The critical position in the culture wars is between individual selection and group selection -- between the culture of individual integrity and the culture of group integrity. The "alt-right" is teetering on the brink of falling into the chasm between Man and Superman due to its blind reaction to cultural Marxism's promotion of group selection. At present, most of the force being applied by the "leaders" of the alt-right is directed into, rather than over, that chasm.

    The film "Deliverance" favors the culture of group integrity by giving voice to a myth about independent mountain people as homosexual gang rapists in the book upon which Boorman's film adaptation was based -- a myth that that James Dickey, the author, admits was based not on any reality. Indeed, the of the release of the film, in 1972, was perfect timing for encouraging the flight from the settler culture of the US into the urban areas by the Baby Boom, which was just then entering into young adulthood and making life decisions. In only a decade, there would be massive increases in homosexual debauchery primarily in the urban areas that fostered the AIDS epidemic. Meanwhile, young women were rejecting childbirth for the seductions of urban living where their primary value was as well-paid office ornaments that provided statistical sexual advantage for their corporate harem masters. Meanwhile, the real mountain people of the US were fiercely independent and individualistic -- so much so that the Scotch Irish are often considered too "wild" for the alt-right. Such characters as President Jackson engaged in duels -- and despite conceits to the contrary -- were of the same "Get your fucking hands off me." stock as the Scotch Irish mountain people. The final conflict, which pitted an individual against and individual in a state of nature, was so close to the true paleolithic origin of individual selection that produced the white race, that its victory of the urban dweller over the rural dweller had as deep an impact on white culture as the unseeable "Squeal like a pig." rape scene, to which it was joined at the hip.

    Zardoz portrayed the "wild man" as gang-rapist vanguard of eugenics. Gang-rape is the epitome of group selection.

    Excalibur's focus on "kingship", from which the Scot Irish Americans fled to form a kingless society that informally supported individual combat as the appeal of last resort in dispute processing, conflates the pre-Christian culture of northern Europeans with the culture of group selection that subsequently obtained. It is widely regarded as a historical fact that "kingship" in the pre-Christian west and north of Europe, was temporary -- for the waging of particular battles -- not a perpetual institution embodied in an individual.

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