Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cimmerian sighting: Satify your sword-fetish with Reclaiming the Blade

As a fan of medieval arms and armor and middle-ages combat, I highly enjoyed the recent documentary Reclaiming the Blade (Galatia Films, July 2009). Written and directed by Daniel McNicoll, it’s a well-done, fun piece of film with some terrific visuals, and an obvious labor of love.

Narrated by John Rhys-Davies (perhaps best known for his portrayal of Gimli in The Lord of the Rings), with appearances by LOTR stars Viggo Mortensen and Karl Urban, and LOTR artist John Howe—yes, it has a very strong LOTR feel and flavor—Reclaiming the Blade is all about the king of blades, the sword. Its central message is that the western art of sword-fighting, long overlooked and largely forgotten by historians, was just as effective and rigorously practiced and applied as its eastern counterpart. A popular belief exists that samurai, ninja and other eastern warriors were superior in training and skill to European knights and men at arms. For years many history books have perpetrated the untruth that armored combat was a clumsy and artless affair, consisting of unskilled opponents bashing away at each other with heavy arms and armor.

Reclaiming the Blade puts the sword to the myth by bringing to light the highly detailed and complex hand-to-hand combat texts of the middle-ages, which, with rigor and science, taught advanced forms of combat the equal of anything in the east. It dispels the romantic notions about sword fights, which the film reminds us typically ended on the ground, with the victor grimly driving a point through a visor slit or a weak chink in his opponent’s armor.

To read the rest of this post, visit The Cimmerian Web site http://www.thecimmerian.com/?p=5525.

7 comments:

Gabriele C. said...

Oh, I want to see that. Let's hope it'll find its way to Germany somehow.

Brian Murphy said...

Hi Gabriele, it is worth watching. I watched it on Netflix using the "watch it now" feature and didn't even have to wait for the disc to arrive in the mail.

Badelaire said...

It's available via instant Netflix? Sah-weet! I'll have to take a movie break some time this week and watch this. I've had a banner ad for it on T&B for months now - time to check out the finished product.

Eric D. Lehman said...

I've heard about this production for a while now and I'm glad it's finally out.

Brian Murphy said...

Yes, instant Netflix is indeed sweet.

Badelaire said...

Just finished watching it via Instant Netflix. This movie is pretty great. It keeps things well grounded and well documented, and really does some good work chipping away at a lot of misconceptions of European martial arts.

Definitely worth viewing if anyone can manage it. I feel vindicated now, running a RtB banner ad on my blog and having signed up to be a "Friend of RtB on the film's website.

Gabriele C. said...

OK, I'll probably better try and figure out what Netflix is. ;)