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Medievalist Visions

In its earliest beginnings, cinema turned to the Middle Ages, and the modern and medieval art forms have been intertwined ever since. Numerous cinematic versions exist of the legends of Arthur, Robin Hood, and the Nibelungs, of the stories of Ivanhoe, of the Vikings, and of the Norse gods.

In this short season, we present some of the more offbeat examples of the medievalist cinema, offering visionary stories from outside the usual cycles of legends. Prince Achmed and Saladin show, respectively, Europe looking at the Middle East, and the Middle East looking back. In The Navigator, medieval England and the present-day Antipodes bizarrely mingle, while Anchoress plumbs profound religious experience in a film that applies realism to the medieval setting.

Widely different though they are from one another, these films share a genuine interest in their medieval settings, which are never just thinly disguised versions of modernity but show a deep concern with the difference between now and then.

Medievalist Visions is presented in partnership between HOME and MAMO 3 (Medievalism in the Modern wOrld Conference at the University of Manchester).