Honour of the Knights

Director: Albert Serra

Spain| 2006. Subtitled. Colour. Dolby Digital Stereo. 110 min

Film directors Ozu and Pasolini are palpable influences on this quirky contemporary reflection on Cervantes’s celebrated novel Don Quixote. Director Albert Serra eschews habitual formulas for historical dramas in providing a far more austere reflection on how a text from the distant past might be re-envisaged for present day audiences. As such, the film provides a commentary on a novel that has fascinated and arguably defied filmmakers as diverse as Orson Welles and Terry Gilliam. This is a minimalist tale of routines and rituals, where the mundane and the mystical go hand in hand. Lluis Serrat’s Sancho Panza is no quickwitted sidekick but a rather placid, shy servant and a man of few words. Lluis Carbo’s Quixote is a surrogate father of sorts, an impatient old man whose adventures are now few. Shot entirely on location, with a resourceful camera that is as much a distant observer of the action as an involved participant, this is a film on the poetics of the ordinary, that imagines Cervantes’s eponymous duo through the prisms of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.—Maria Delgado.

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