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July 30, 2007 | by  | in Film |
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Honor de cavalleria (Honour of the Knights)

Honor de cavalleria (Honour of the Knights) is Albert Serra’s first film, based on the classic novel Don Quixote (an episodic, Renaissance-era tale which describes the travels and exploits of the Don and his dim-witted sidekick Sancho in their pursuit of chivalry).

Shot completely in natural light and with directly recorded sound (the wind, for example, actually sounds like wind, which makes it patently obvious how fake movie wind normally is), the film, like the book, follows Quixote and Sanchez around what appears to be modern day rural Catalonia. The landscape is particularly beautiful, more so at dusk when the wild grass and shrubbery descends into black against the oddly deep blue sky. The two protagonists, particularly Quixote, have a unique way of appreciating basic things: swimming in a river on a hot day, for example, has never looked so good. Serra’s camera also brings us into a world without long intrusive takes, often from behind a tree; sometimes it is almost as if we are spying on their unselfconscious escapades.

The film is almost plotless, and when it’s not plotless, it is confusing, which might put some people off, but the escapist factor of watching a balmy summer in northern Spain alone was enough to keep me watching until the end.

ALBERT SERRA

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