Honor de Cavelleria (2006, Albert Serra)

“You have to follow my path even if you don’t understand it.”

Don Quixote thinks he’s a knight, enlists his neighbor as squire. Pancho is sleepy and despondent, Quixote is belligerent, but both are quite slow and seemingly dull-witted. Time goes slowly. Some nice natural-light photography, though.

Shot in part by Eduard Grau (A Single Man, Finisterrae). Mark Peranson apparently made a Serra making-of doc, but it’s about Birdsong despite being named Waiting for Sancho.

M. Peranson:

Honor de Cavalleria is a modernist, materialist, experiential film made with a supreme amount of confidence. It’s one of those films that periodically appears in a hostile, conformist environment – like a UFO landing – and causes viewers and critics to ponder how exactly films operate on spectators. … it is as if we are eavesdropping on the real inspirations for the dreamer Quixote and the earth-bound Sancho as they moseyed across the gorgeous landscape centuries ago, their language less important than the movement of their bodies.

Serra, who has a degree in Hispanic Philology:

We wanted to make a film on idealism. What then was the starting point of such a film? A beautiful novel dealing with that theme, that is to say Don Quixote. … This austere and conceptual atmosphere [of Bresson and Bergman] interested us. Young filmmakers usually have the stereotype of the urban film, current stories, themes dealing with young people. In order to go against that, we insisted on the classic film tradition, different from that of nowadays’ young cinema. We wanted to make a film poles apart from current cinema.

Serra again, on the look: “It’s shot in Mini DV, not HD or any high-end bullshit. … I don’t like the definition to be that high.” He quotes Lisandro Alonso and Blissfully Yours as influences.

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