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Film / Lancelot du Lac

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Lancelot du Lac, or Lancelot of the Lake is a 1974 French film by Robert Bresson.
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A retelling of Arthurian Legend that begins with the surviving Knights of the Round Table returning after their failed attempt to locate the Holy Grail. Conflict soon arises when Mordred threatens to reveal the affair between Lancelot and Guinevere to King Arthur.


Tropes:

  • 24-Hour Armor: The knights spend almost the whole film in full plate armor, even when doing things like writing letters.
  • The Ace: Lancelot is the strongest of all the knights and Queen Guinevere's champion. The joust scene is an example of this.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The ending heavily implies that Mordred has successfully overthrown Arthur (although, in Arthurian Legend, Mordred also dies). At the very least, Lancelot and the other knights are slaughtered.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Lancelot at one point sees a woman's scarf in Mordred's tent. It is later revealed to be Guinevere's and shows that Mordred is aware of their affair.
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  • Chekhov's Gunman: Early in the film Lancelot gets lost and asks an old lady for directions. He later stays with her when he is wounded.
  • Deconstruction: Bresson does this to pretty much every element of Arthurian Legend.
  • Dirty Coward: Gawain notes on several occasions that Mordred is this. Notably, he refused to join the knights on the Grail quest.
  • The Dung Ages: One of the earliest examples in film. Bresson leaves out the magical parts of Arthurian Legend in order to focus on blood and grime.
  • End of an Era: The film begins where most stories about King Arthur end. The film is partially about the end of the era of chivalry and romance.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Gawain is extremely loyal to Lancelot and defends him against Mordred's allegations.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Mordred may be the villain, but he is completely correct when he accuses Guinevere and Lancelot of having an affair.
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  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Guinevere is Arthur's wife. Lancelot is Arthur's knight.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Most of the film's conflict is caused by Guinevere cheating on Arthur with Lancelot.
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