18
2hrs 22mins

In the crossed swords of his 1977 debut, The Duellists, Ridley Scott (born in South Shields and whose great uncle, Dixon Scott, founded this very cinema!) began a career that has since spanned from the pioneering horror and sci-fi of Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982), through to Thelma and Louise (1991), Gladiator (2000), Black Hawk Down (2001) and The Martian (2015).

Ridley Scott
18

Returning to a theme that began his filmmaking journey, The Last Duel centres on the last legally sanctioned duel in 14th Century France.

Told through conflicting vignettes of recollection – a narrative device made famous by Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon (1950) – the film traces a darkening feud, in which the nobleman, Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon) discovers Jacques Le Gris (Adam driver) had once raped his wife (played by Jodie Komer from the stunning TV drama, Killing Eve).

Through consistently strong performances, Scott’s meticulous eye for detail and soaring camerawork, The Last Duel travels over castles, epic vistas and spectacular sequences of combat and yet it is the internal journeying – through memory and deception – that drives this medieval interrogation of cruelty, power and masculinity.

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