Video: ‘The Green Knight’ | anatomy of a scene


“My name is David Lowery, and I adapted and directed The Green Knight. This is a scene in which Sir Gawain, who is not yet Sir Gawain – he is not yet a knight – played by Dev Patel, rests stops for what he thinks is an abandoned hut in the countryside and discovers that it is inhabited by a spirit named St. Winifred. St. Winifred is a real character in Welsh history and Catholic lore She is a martyr of the seventh century, who was killed by her lover when she- when she decided to become a nun. And her head was thrown into a spring. But later, a saint came and took her head from the spring. Took it and attached it to her body, and she came back to life. And since then, that spring, known in Wales as Holyhead or Holywell, is known to have healing powers. The place where you can still go. And the people-devotees go there. Tourists go there. It’s open for business. And it’s mentioned in the original text of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. There is a line that says, He continued on from the forests by the forelands at the sacred head, until he again took the land in the wilderness of Virel. And that is just one line in the poem, but the poem itself is very much rooted in Welsh iconography and Welsh geography. And so while researching this, I found the legend of St. Winifred and I really couldn’t—I couldn’t resist including it in the movie. It was not shot in Wales, but on location in Ireland. And although we shot it on location, we wanted it to look like an old Hammer horror movie and have that kind of soundstage feel. ” “There.” “what I’m looking for?” “My head.” “It’s a real cottage we found. And then Jade Healy, our production designer, made it as close as possible to the original St. Winifred Cottage in Wales. And then we dug our own well in front of it, which is now There may or may not be. I really don’t know. Erin Kellyman plays Winifred, and I first saw her in the Han Solo movie, “Solo Story.” And I thought she was such a charming presence And immediately, I just knew I wanted to work with him at some point. So when I wrote this film it came very quickly to his mind for this part. And thankfully he said yes. He’s amazing ” “This Lord wanted to lie down with me. I fought with him, but he returned in the night and broke my door. I tried to run away, but he cut my head.” “We shot it all in one night. And it was one of the few night shoots that we did on set and one of those rare occasions when everyone Something goes completely fine. The weather was perfect. It wasn’t too cold. The wind was still there. The fog just stayed there. It was really magical.” “I just want my head.” “All the ghostly stuff in this we wanted it to feel very practical. When she swims towards Dev, she stands on a doli. Again, we wanted the whole sequence to feel like a very old-fashioned horror movie The stakes here, what is Dev doing with this journey, are already so high. He is literally heading towards his death. So every single encounter he encounters in his journey is more than a nudge. The stakes here aren’t huge. They’re far more delicate. And what’s happening here with this conversation with Winifred is that she’s leading him to honesty, decency, and chivalry. And we’re the legend of Winifred. The sequence was inspired by the made-for-TV movie Evox Caravan of Courage, in which a character is sucked into a magical pond. It terrified me as a kid, and that’s directly what it’s drawn to. We had originally planned for a really big underwater sequence, but now I know that under water. It takes more than half a day to shoot something below. And so I think what you’re seeing here is a lot of useful footage that we combined with some of the short work that we shot back in Texas. And the short was produced by David Pink, who dressed as a ghost in “A Ghost Story” when Casey was not available. And the cosmic stuff you see here, we really wanted—when the gods came out of this pond, we wanted their worldview to change. Their every meeting in this film changes them and brings them closer to death. And so here he is touching the universe. And if the star effect sounds a little clunky, that’s because I’ve done them myself using a YouTube tutorial. “

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