jducoeur: (Default)
[personal profile] jducoeur

In the news today are a bunch of obits for director George Romero. Pretty much all of them focus on Night of the Living Dead, and to be fair, it's the work he is best known for.

But let's pause a moment and remember his movie Knightriders -- the closest thing the SCA has to its own motion picture. Legend (maybe true, maybe not; I honestly don't know) has it that Romero happened to attend a particular SCA Crown Tournament, and was swept up by the drama he saw there; his producers weren't thrilled by the idea, and said, "Enh -- maybe if you add motorcycles and a good soundtrack, we'll think about it". So he did.

Knightriders has always been on my personal list of Movies Every SCAdian should see. Not because the club portrayed is the SCA, mind. It very much isn't: it's essentially a traveling RenFaire where they joust on motorcycles. But the feel of the group, I've always thought, reflects the SCA beautifully. You have the folks who are dead-serious about The Dream, who see something better in the ideals of their club. You have the stick-jocks who are here for the sport and the babes. You have the craftsmen who are making it all possible, and, yes, you have the folks who are just here to party. (There's even poor Patricia Tallman, better known for Babylon 5, in her first major role as the token mundane who is enamored by the whole thing but doesn't quite seem to get it.)

The movie gets a bit full of itself at times, and some people mock it mercilessly, but I love it -- not least for Ed Harris (in my favorite of his roles) as King Billy, who is trying desperately to keep his people both safe and united, and to pursue his dreams while everything around him is falling apart. He is a wonderful study in obsession, illustrating both the advantages and problems of having a strong leader.

If you haven't seen it, check it out. It's not the most brilliant movie ever, but it's wonderfully human. For pretty much every character in it, I can say, "Yeah, I know folks just like that". That's one of the higher compliments I can pay a director...

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-17 03:29 pm (UTC)
alexxkay: (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexxkay
Romero was definitely present at an infamously-problematic SCA Crown Tourney.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-20 01:37 am (UTC)
fredrikegerman: (cycling)
From: [personal profile] fredrikegerman
I'd heard the movie had echoes of the foundation of the MSR (is the MSR still in thing in the NYC / Long Island area? Haven't heard about them in ages...). Which I assume is roughly this.

We watched this at the Mitgaard movie night my junior year. Good fun, and I remember almost none of it due to start-of-the-semester sleep deprivation.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-17 09:48 pm (UTC)
metahacker: Me doing SCA combat in my ratty leather armor, against Fritz's much fancier metal armor.  (armor)
From: [personal profile] metahacker
I've always been curious about it, but not enough to track down, or show up for the mass-viewing someone held in ages past...

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