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FMMC 0485 The Middle Ages in Cinema

This tutorial explores cinematic depictions of the middle ages, mainly in European and North American film.  It draws on the burgeoning scholarly literature in this field, to explore the complex interplay between cinema and ‘the medieval’.  This includes thinking about the interaction between films and other forms of artistic expression:  many relevant films are adaptations of plays or novels ('The Lion in Winter',  1968; various versions of Mark Twain’s 'A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court').

Medieval topics have captured the imagination of film makers since the early years of cinema, as seen for instance in Carl Theodore Dreyer’s tremendously influential silent film La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc (1928). Perennially popular topics for cinematic treatment include King Arthur, Robin Hood, and the Crusades.  (On the latter, compare Kingdom of Heaven (2005), with the 1963 Egyptian film Salladin the Victorious).  They range from cerebral films such as The Seventh Seal (1957) to swashbucklers such as The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) or El Cid (1961). Central elements include depictions of gender and sexuality, Christianity, and Orientalism.  Humour is also an important theme, for instance in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), and Les Visiteurs (1993). 

CMRS allowed me to realize my passion and potential
I arrived in Oxford in September 2008 and, exactly one year later, found myself on the bus to Oxford for my second CMRS term. Another year later, I wa...
Megan Roper, Autumn Semesters 2008 & 2009, St Mary's College of Maryland