The Green Knight

The Green Knight

To be critical of the style of cinematography and composition here — heavy on landscapes and insert shots, natural light, and near-symmetrical framings with a central point of focus — should not just mean slagging off A24 stans or accusing the filmmaker of designing their own movie to be screencapped on social media. What bothers me about the style here is that it seems to cover up a lack of fundamentals. When Gawain sits down at the lord's table the camera can't get away from shooting each of the four participants head-on in a medium shot, as if there were no other way to shoot a conversation. The lighting of the interior scenes had me, in the theater, reaching for a phantom remote control to adjust my contrast settings. I assume the reliance on natural, external sources of light in those scenes is meant to convey a medieval realism, and yet everyone in this movie is wearing costumes that seem to have just been taken out of the wardrobe a few minutes before shooting. Similarly, a few purposeful uses of dirt and semen can't hide the movie's clammy prudishness; it's not without interesting ideas, but even for a story about youth and immaturity, there's too much here that feels amateurish.

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