Welcome to The Spool’s weekly interview podcast, More of a Comment, Really…, where editor-in-chief Clint Worthington talks to actors, filmmakers, composers, and other figures from the realm of film and television.
David Lowery’s The Green Knight is a brilliant, mesmerizing take on the 14th-century Welsh poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, starring Dev Patel as a flawed, headstrong variant on the archetypal Knight of the Round Table. It’s steeped in the ancient Arthurian traditions of chivalric romance but muddied and tarred with the grit, fatalism, and pagan supernaturalism of the time in which it was created.
It’s a perfect assignment for Lowery, whose films, while diverse, are deeply thoughtful and steeped in an acute sense of the past. In both look and sound, The Green Knight straddles the line between the kind of brittle, supernatural dramas around which A24 has practically built their brand. (Also, considering its long delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the subsequent re-edits Lowery sent the film through in the interim, it also feels like the kind of film that was refined until it exactly matched the director’s vision.)
Part and parcel of that approach is Lowery’s involvement of regular collaborator Daniel Hart, who brought him into the world of composition with his early shorts and his debut feature Ain’t Them Bodies Saints. Since then, he’s worked on numerous TV shows including The Exorcist and The Society, and composed music for This American Life and the podcast S Town. (And, of course, all of Lowery’s films to date, including his mesmerizing score for The Green Knight.)
His work here matches the curious, mournful approach Lowery takes to the material, mixing ancient rhyme with moody, groaning instrumentation to convey a world in which civilization clashes against the supernatural. It’s as expansive in scope as it is intimately connected to Gawain’s personal journey as a knight and hero. Hart talks to us on the podcast about the long, sometimes arduous process of developing the score for The Green Knight, the medieval delicacy of its instrumentation, and the “Apprehension Engine” he borrowed from The Witch‘s Mark Korvan to make it.
You can visit Daniel Hart’s official website here.
The Green Knight‘s official soundtrack is out July 30th courtesy of Milan Records. You can listen to it on Spotify or your music streaming service of choice.
The Green Knight is in theaters July 30th, courtesy of A24.