Lancelot of the Lake (1974)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Period Film  |   Run Time - 85 min.  |   Countries - France, Italy  |  
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Robert Bresson's cast speaks their lines in flat tones, never acknowledging the overpowering emotions that lie in their words; while occasionally off-putting, this extreme underplaying adds weight to their speeches and, at the same time, emphasizes the disease of the soul that is bringing about the fall of Camelot. Bresson also emphasizes the confusion and turmoil these men feel in the way in which he captures them on film. The camera lingers on feet and legs (of both men and horses), creating a sense of confusion in the viewer as he tries to identify the figure on the screen. This also visually captures the idea that these characters are torn between the ideals of chivalry (as evidenced by their armor) and the weakness of their own humanity (as evidenced by the un-armored backs of their legs). Surprisingly, despite the weariness that pervades the film, the viewer watches the proceedings with an intensity and avid interest. Bresson's artistry and obvious personal involvement makes this melancholy exploration of inevitability engrossing and deeply affecting.