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date: 01 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This essay examines Excalibur, John Boorman’s 1981 recreation of Arthurian legend, through the lens of music. The chapter argues that the music evokes an intertextual discourse by contextualizing the film within the register of the mythic medieval. On the one hand, the original cues provided by Trevor Jones evoke this register by using semiotic gestures and textures that are commonly associated with filmic tropes. The preexisting music, on the other hand, opens up the film to intertextual discourse with other modern versions of medieval mythologies. A thorough analysis of both yields a broader picture of Boorman’s myth that is helpful in contextualizing the film as a particular manifestation of cultural medievalism in the twentieth century.

Keywords: Excalibur, destiny, mythic, Arthur, “O Fortuna,” Wagner, Tristan und Isolde, Parsifal, the Ring, intertextuality

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