Swords­man­ship on the sil­ver screen

Country Life Every Week - - A Walking Life -

On an­other oc­ca­sion, I’m struck be­fore I’ve barely had time to breathe and, on an­other, he just catches me on the wrist af­ter a valiant de­fen­sive ef­fort on my part. With Ge­orgina en­cour­ag­ing me like Yoda on the side­lines, I fi­nally rally and pro­pel my­self for­ward, man­ag­ing to strike Paul un­awares. Ha! I feel ex­hausted, but also ex­hil­a­rated, de­spite my lack of co-or­di­na­tion.

As we re­move our masks and shake hands, I ap­pre­ci­ate the guile, grace and speed of thought re­quired to suc­ceed at this game. It’s a mar­vel­lous test, men­tally and phys­i­cally.

Later, I tease Ge­orgina about the thriv­ing so­cial scene that sur­rounds the sport. Surely the reign­ing Com­mon­wealth Cham­pion should be treat­ing her body like a tem­ple—she is an ath­lete af­ter all. In true non-con­form­ist style, she replies with a smile: ‘I don’t see my­self as an ath­lete— I’m a fencer.’ For de­tails of how to take up the sport, con­tact Bri­tish Fenc­ing (www.british­fenc­ing.com; 020– 8742 3032. With thanks to The Lans­downe Club (020–7629 7200; www.lans­downeclub.com) for host­ing the author’s les­son

Rob Roy (1995)

The valiant clan chief (Liam Nee­son) chal­lenges the cruel Archibald Cun­ning­ham (Tim Roth) to a fight to the death in a re­al­is­tic in­ter­pre­ta­tion of what a for­mal duel of hon­our would have been like (above)

The Mask of Zorro (1998)

Star­ring An­to­nio Ban­deras—who prac­tised his du­elling skills with the Span­ish Olympic fenc­ing team for four months for the role—and An­thony Hop­kins, this fast and fu­ri­ous film fea­tures a num­ber of dra­matic sword fights

Star Wars (1977–2015)

Who doesn’t en­joy the Jedi in ac­tion?

The Princess Bride (1987)

The sword fight on the Cliffs of In­san­ity is one of the best cin­e­matic du­els of all time

Pi­rates of the Caribbean (2003–2017)

Awash with swash­buck­ling fan­tasy

Die An­other Day (2002)

Af­ter in­nu­endo queen and fenc­ing in­struc­tor Ver­ity (Madonna) drops a cou­ple of clangers, James Bond (Pierce Bros­nan) and his ad­ver­sary, Gus­tav Graves (Toby Stephens), tear up the fic­tional fenc­ing club Blades (filmed at Lon­don’s Re­form Club)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.