Black AngelHD Closed Captioning
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About the Movie
The mythological drama follows a Knight returning from the wars to find his land destroyed and his family dead from a great sickness. Returning to the wars with nothing to live for, he falls into a river and is dragged down by the weight of his armour. At the last breath, he manages to pull off his armoured helmet. Swimming to the surface he ascends into a strange land where he meets a maiden bound to the Black Angel. He vows to save her and fulfil his Knights quest to rescue a maiden. In a fight to the death he confronts the Black Angel, a mysterious figure, an angel of death. Especially commissioned by George Lucas to accompany STAR WARS; THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK on its world release wherever a short film was programmed. The 25min medieval fantasy was written and directed by Roger Christian.
The Archetypal Holy Grail of Lost Films
34 years of waiting is over: finally, this missing link in the 'Star Wars' universe emerges from the depths and is available to see again. You may have been spellbound by it back in 1980 as a child when it screened before 'The Empire Strikes Back' – and had it lurking inside your mind to this day. You may have read articles about it in recent years and wondered what the fuss was all about. Or you may never have heard of it until now. In any case, here is your chance to enjoy one of cinema's great lost films, whose creation, loss and subsequent rediscovery is a legend in itself.
Beautifully shot on a shoestring budget around Scotland's ominous and majestic landscapes in late autumn, 'Black Angel' pays knowing homage to Kurosawa and Tarkovsky – and has clearly influenced many subsequent fantasy films and series: from Boorman's 'Excalibur' through 'Robin of Sherwood' to 'Game of Thrones'. One reason the film succeeds in creating such a lasting impression is found in the way geographical features are given such prominence alongside the narrative action: it is one thing to see a typical postcard-style establishing shot of a location in Scotland, but quite another to follow the protagonists deeply into that landscape and reveal details and features that are rarely seen elsewhere in such stunning cinematographic detail. The stories about its creation in one hectic week in Scotland only add to the film's value as a historical document, and to the sense we are lucky to have this accessible for viewing at all.
With a gorgeous early original score by Trevor Jones and featuring electronic effects by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop's Paddy Kingsland, all the elements are here. Restored in breathtaking quality by David Tanaka and Brice Parker as a tribute to Christian's enduring vision, it is unlikely you'll find a purer vision of the great Arthurian "quest" committed to film elsewhere, now or in the future.
Very Disappointed !
The first thing that needs to be said is that this is a short. It is 25 minutes long with the credits. I didn’t expect it to be that short, but it cost only 2.00 dollars.
I would agree that there are many wonderful images and moments in this short, and it reminded me a lot of Boorman’s Excalibur. The mystical tone, and the natural lighting are exactly the same. Even the ghostly soprano singing is so similar that I am not even sure if the music tracks may be the same (see the scene in Excalibur where the lady of the lake gives Arthur his sword back)
Unfortunately there are also lots of inconsistent parts, and problems with continuity, including shields that appear and disappear, wet hair then dry hair, dirty horse then clean horse as well as a “young man” that is past middle age and a “child” that looks to be close to thirty. Furthermore, the ‘child’ refers to her captor as “the Black Angel” and then the hero immediately demands to be taken to ‘the Black Knight” as an order of duty. He feels this way because he claims the ‘child’ saved his life. His near-death experience consisted of tripping into a lake, and then the taking off his snake-helmet under water, which seemed to be just the thing our hero needed to shed in order to swim his way back to the surface. This is somewhat strange, in that the hero knight really didn’t seem in too much danger in the water, and when he surfaced, the shore was only a few feet away. Perhaps it was an allegory for death and rebirth, but it mostly seemed just an exercise in atmosphere and great period/fantasy costumes. The fight scene with the eponymous Black Angel (or Black Knight as he may have been) was stagey and weak.
I would pass this one by unless you are looking for 25 minutes to kill, say while you are exercising on the stationary bike.