Excalibur (1981)

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David: The legendary expounding of how, when your best friend steals your girlfriend, literally everything turns to excrement. As the hapless players unfold this tragedy, supernatural mentor Merlin is to be found meddling with ruthless benevolence in the affairs of men. But with a pained, fatherly expression he watches as time and again they hold the prize of a golden age in their hands, and drop it.

Jules: Not only an impossible love-triangle, but an impossible political romance unfolds in this robust and sinewy retelling of the ancient, troubadour-filtered tale of a God-given head of state who both physically and metaphysically unifies his island kingdom. The myth of the benevolent dictator finds its apotheosis in the overwhelmingly decent, occasionally-befuddled character of Arthur, whose innocence both makes and unmakes his dynasty.
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Prospero’s Books (1991)

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Jules: What becomes of the book in the age of the moving image? Peter Greenaway considers this question, among others, in this sumptuous 1991 production featuring John Gielgud in (apparently) his dream role as Prospero from Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

David: Frames within frames, and naked dames. And who to blame? It may have as much to do with what becomes of art history in the age of the moving image, as what becomes of the book.

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The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988)

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Our first podcast! And it sounds like it!

Jules: Problems (and beauty) abound in this characteristically Gilliamesque romp through the Enlightenment, and its cultural upheavals. Marvels to delight the eye accompany the misadventures of our titular hero as he attempts to establish how the war began.

David: Beautiful ladies, beautiful ladies!

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