There are no windmills, only wind—and trees and grass and sunlight extinguishing the dawn—in writer-director Albert Serra's extraordinary, minimalist/naturalist take on the Don Quixote story. Shot in DV, with dialogue (what very little there is) spoken in Catalan, Serra's film purports to take inspiration not just from Cervantes but also from an exhaustive litany of other literary and cinematic sources (including, but not limited to, Bresson, Godard, Ozu, and the 12th-century French poet Chrétien de Troyes). It is most affecting, however, as a spare yet soulful study of two lone figures against an unspoiled landscape—the last refuge, perhaps, from a world that no longer resembles a bygone "golden age" of peace and prosperity. There is a funereal air to the film, as the frail, weather-beaten Quixote (Lluís Carbó) trudges forth in the company of the loyal Sancho (Lluís Serrat), pausing periodically to rest, bask in a gentle stream, or impart some terse morsel of wisdom like "Chivalry is civilization."
Carbó pursues his weather-beaten dreams.
Runs Fri., Nov. 9–Thurs., Nov. 15, at Northwest Film Forum. Not rated. 110 minutes.