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Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Anthony_D, Nov 25, 2001.
watched this film the other day...not sure I quite get it
What, specifically, didn't you get?
I agree that it's a somewhat tough movie to absorb after one viewing, but there IS some internal logic to it!
Plus I'm not really the Zardoz expert here. There are a few!
I'll leave the movie as a whole to other people, but even if you HATED this flick after seeing it, you owe it to yourself to listen to the first minute of the DVD commentary if you get a chance. It's better verbatim and don't read this if you'll ever hear it, but for those who never will, it basically is the director saying "This opening shot was inserted after test screenings to make the film less confusing" followed by a long pause, then "It didn't work"
What, specifically, might be confusing you, Anthony? I might be able to help, as I have some familiarity with this superb film.
Zardoz took me by surprise. I expected to hate it, but it so thoroughly confused, alientated and confounded me, that I walked away from it just mystified and tripped out. Don't get me wrong, some of the 'internal logic' of the film was not lost on me at all, but the execution of the plot, characterization, etc was just so exexplicably weird that it's impossible for me to either recommend or condemn this film.
Although, one of the craziest quotes must be... (warning, possibly offensive language ahead:
"The gun is good. The penis is evil. The penis shoots seed!"
Surrealist science fiction if there is such a thing...
"Would you kill god?"
Depends if he really pissed me off...so in other words he better not cut me off in a BMW
Funny to see this thread here as I just watched Zardoz for the first time last night. First off, let me say that I've seen plenty of bizarre movies in my time so I wasn't put off by Boorman's unique vision. However, I think he was really pushing it here. The "penis is evil" line, for instance, is almost terrible; at first, I didn't know whether to laugh or take it seriously. Overall, I think it's a good and interesting movie, but it comes oh-so-close to being MST3K material.
But that it does not is a testimony to John Boorman's artistry as a filmmaker.
We are looking here at a genuine science-fiction film. It portrays a future that truly looks futuristic, and its societal imaginings are worthy of a Robert A. Heinlein.
The trailer's tagline is "I have seen the future and it doesn't work." But the film that shows us that future certainly does.
Now, if only Anthony would tell us what it is that mystifies him.
"Is this your god's house?"
My advice to anyone who has watched this film and doesn't understand it is to watch it again. I got so much more out of it in my second viewing. I went from being a little confused as to what the film was, to absolutely loving it.
Zardoz is one of those very rare films, especially in the science fiction genre, that does not give up all its secrets in only one or two viewings. When the DVD came out, I watched it at least three times over the course of two weeks (I was writing a review of it for a magazine, but that assignment only came about because I was so intrigued by the film) and it was a better film each time. I'd only seen it once before - 10 or more years ago on LaserDisc - and hardly remembered any of the important elements of the film.
Anthony, what are your questions?
My question is a simple little one. A summary of the whole movie! especially the ending!!!!
Zardoz is a tough movie to grasp afetr one veiwing. You kinda have to watch it a couple of times to really absorb whats going on. On another note, I think Excalibur is Boormans best work.
I completely respect those who see Zardoz as a very serious contender in the science fiction genre. I have films I feel similarly about, that other people do not take seriously, and I know how it feels to try and get my interpretation across.
In other words, those of you who understand and appreciate Zardoz: more power to you. I'm serious.
However, to say that various lines and scenes and imagery from Zardoz does not cause my friends and I to burst out laughing at any given moment... would be a lie.
All meaningful society/religious commentary aside, frickin' Sean Connery in a loincloth! A floating stone head! The hairstyles! ROTFL!!
But, Joseph, such costumes and hairstyles represented a serious attempt to convey a future "that has not occurred, but it may."
Whether the results leave you in hysterics or not, they do have a look and feel that are different from the here and now. Contrast this with, say, Battlestar Galactica, with the actors' atrocious '70s-style hairdos. We are meant to believe that humans won't look any different in the far future?
Overall, Zardoz is one of a handful of films that can be taken seriously as true science fiction.
Honestly, I think it's a truly interesting movie. I didn't hate it (not by a long shot), and I never got bored. The execution of the film's ideas struck me as a little convoluted, that's all. But perhaps the film just defied some of the conventions that we come to expect from science fiction. If I'm not mistaken, the efforts of the users on the HTF resulted in the release of the DVD. If so, Bravo!
And something else to keep in mind you who mock the styles...
Today's Matrix is tomorrow's Logan's Run. You never can tell when you will be defending a film that suddenly becomes goofy when fashion shifts.
Boorman's future is certainly a permanent record of how the hippie-style movement of the 60's and 70's envisioned future looked, but no more so than Clockwork Orange or 2001...or Star Trek, Rollerball, Logan's Run, etc. The key for future styles in films is to be alien to us...and speaking of fashion, didn't you ever wonder how in the hell Luke's outfit was FARM CLOTHING??? I won't even discuss if any of you currently walk around in a toga thing cinched with a belt and wearing boots. Come on.
And I always thought the concept of light pulses stored within crystal as the next step in computing was a great sci-fi idea, not so far from reality as to be completely wrong. Even the giant head has a reasonable explanation.
(insert clever Zardoz quote here, ala Jack)