The Knight

Lech Majewski's The Knight recalls the medieval epics of fellow Central Europeans Frantisek Vlácil (The Valley of the Bees), in its visceral, nearly feverish merging of sound and image, and Miklós Jancsó (The Red and the White), in its remarkably staged tableaux, inspired by thirteenth-century Polish icons. A young knight leaves his teetering kingdom (and doddering king) to seek a gold-stringed harp, which will bring peace and harmony to all humanity. On the journey he will encounter thieves and holy men (and even thieving holy men), believers and pagans. Majewski's editing aesthetic captures the chaotic state of our hero, disorientedly cutting from vast landscapes to sudden close-ups, peace to violence, reflection to action, spartan to baroque. Rich in mysticism, The Knight is a welcome throwback to the art-house medievalisms of Fellini, Vlácil, and Kurosawa, when questions of belief, religion, and human nature were constantly asked, yet thankfully never answered.

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