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Thursday, 6 November 2014

"Mr Turner" and the Second Crusade

We had a nice lunch yesterday, at "Cote" in York then we went to Cityscreen to see the latest hot hot ticket film in town, Mike Leigh's "Mr. Turner". This was Wednesday afternoon, 2:45 showing, the cinema screen was packed and they had turned people away at the 12:00 showing. Now having seen the film I understand why. It is a magnificent film, wonderful. Terrific acting, beautiful mise-en-scene, a real delight to look at, great direction that keeps the story moving along.

From there, B drove me to the University for the Crusaders course, lesson 4 on the Second Crusade. What an almighty shambles that turned out to be. Almost all of the forces were killed in Turkey and Syria, more than 40,000 Christian Knights and soldiers and camp followers. The Christian city of Edessa had fallen to the Saracens, the Crusade was called to take it back but they did not get within 200 miles of the city. The only highlight - the contingent of Crusaders that left by ship from Dartmouth, English, Scottish, Flemish, Frisians and Normans, were forced into Oporto, Portugal, by bad weather. There they met King Alfonso 1 of Portugal and they were persuaded to join in the siege of the city of Lisbon, held by the Moors. The combined Portuguese and Crusader force succeeded after four months of siege, the Crusaders thought its too late in the year to travel now, they had done their bit for the Crusade in defeating the Moors, so most of them stayed in the nice weather and surroundings of Lisbon. In the circumstances, that turned out to be a very wise choice.

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