RoosterVision: David Lowry’s THE GREEN KNIGHT (A24, 2021)

THE GREEN KNIGHT may chop off your head but he will make you a better man.

…an ongoing series of articles spotlighting movies, music, art, comics, and other assorted media that we at Rooster Republic Press find ourselves enjoying. Once a week, on Thursdays, we will showcase new and old works and, hopefully, help spread the word on great stuff you might otherwise miss out on.

RoosterVision was previously the name of our non-fiction imprint, and since those titles and that line of books are no longer, we have decided to resurrect RoosterVision for the purpose of this showcase. Enjoy!

Today’s “RoosterVision” will be brief, but don’t let that make you think David Lowry’s THE GREEN KNIGHT comes with anything less than our (well, ok, Nick’s) highest recommendation. Roundly ignored by members of the Academy in AD2022, this film will likely endure while many of this year’s Oscar contenders will be all but forgotten in the years to come. The film offers too much to ignore, in both style and substance, and it’s easy to forecast its future: the film becomes a cult classic, at the least, or time and reappraisal sees it become, simply, a classic.

Based on Arthurian legend, the story concerns itself with young Sir Gawain (an exceptional Dev Patel), nephew to King Arthur, and his great quest to test his bravery and his character. How to do this? How else? By besting The Green Knight in a duel of blows… to the neck.

At times, the film has been called a revisionist fantasy. Personally, I think this only applies if one is strictly speaking of “film” fantasies, which have often been labeled as the stuff of juvenilia. And while that may be true, to an extent, of fantasy represented by popular studio features, the themes and tenor of THE GREEN KNIGHT can be found in… the book? And, not just the THE GREEN KNIGHT but in earlier works, as well, such as THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH. I suppose if your exposure to fantasy is limited to, say, the live-action DUNGEONS & DRAGONS (2000) movie, then I guess the sight of Sir Gawain getting a hand-job and blowing a load on his magic belt seems pretty revisionist.

David Lowry’s THE GREEN KNIGHT poses and ponders tough questions about life, love, and what it means to live a good life. It also features ghosts, otherworldly giants, talking animals, and pagan gods. So, you know, it’s heavy stuff but it is visually rich. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better looking movie out of 2021.

In the wise words of John Waters, “Get more out of life. See a fucked-up movie.”


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