Zardoz.....What am I getting myself into?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dome Vongvises, Dec 17, 2001.

  1. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    Between now and the time I finish the AFI 100 challenge, I'll probably check this movie out since it seems to hold high regard among the members here (to cite specifics, Matthew Chmiel and Jack Briggs). What should I look for? How's the story? Does it require repeat viewings?
     
  2. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    Don't forget to add Jeff Ulmer to the list of HTF luminaries that worship at the altar of Zardoz. [​IMG]
    I am also a fan, and will attempt to answer your questions...
    First and foremost, Zardoz is an SF film that 'feels' like true SF. It is a film of ideas, and as such remains faithful to the basic precepts of SF literature. It is not an action film, disguised with some SF elements. While this is a generalization, I'd say the film is more likely to resonate with fans of SF literature ( particularly older SF ) as opposed to those whose only exposure to SF has been through a lot of what masquerades as SF on television and film.
    Concentrate on the ideas and the theme of the film. Don't be distracted by the 'look' of the film. The film didn't have a large bugdet, but IMO Boorman and his crew still did a fine job of creating a plausible future and managed to communicate their themes quite capably.
    I'm not sure that second viewings are really required, but one subsequent viewing might be in order; once all has been revealed.
    And while I hate to plant a seed of doubt; given your opinion of 2001: A Space Odyssey, I'm not sure how this one will work for you. Maybe you'll like it, maybe you'll hate it. Give it a try. [​IMG]
    - Walter.
     
  3. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    Walter pretty much nailed it, I am also a fan of this film and he's hit on the main points very well. Also, pay attention during the prologue!
     
  4. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    What Walter and Peter said! And Walter is dead-on in that the film resonates with fans of written, literary SF. Enjoy, and screen as many times as necessary.
     
  5. Janna S

    Janna S Second Unit

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    I'm also a big Zardoz fan, but when I have recommended it to younger friends, their reaction makes me put it in the category of "you had to be there" films - films that had a particular resonance and were particularly suited to the time in the world (or sometimes just the time in my life) when I saw them.

    Also, as you were warned above, some find it hard to overlook the low-budget, early FX nature of older SF films, or, in other genres, the sometimes simplistic reasoning or plot construction.

    Sometimes I think we know just too damned much anymore . . .
     
  6. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Some part of it's "charm" is it's odd/dated look with some things. By the time I saw it on cable about 10 years ago it was already "dated". However, it was this unusual style that also caught my interest.

    As you start to really pay attention you realize that there are some good, basic Sci-Fi philsosphical discussions going on.

    It's a more interesting script than 4 other films that it fits in with in style: Logan's Run, Soylent Green, Planet of the Apes, and Rollerball. I might toss in Westworld as well and maybe THX 1138. Each might seem "lame" or "weird" to many people today based on production styles of the time and some of the concepts explored.

    Each of these films are dated in one fashion, yet some of the best classic sci-fi ideas are going on underneath that.

    If you want Lost in Space or Matrix, run from this film. If the film's I mentioned above interest you despite their 70's production values then I think you will enjoy Zardoz.

    Once the story started to unfold I thought "yeah, that makes sense" or "interesting concept". Always a good sign for sci-fi.
     
  7. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Good comments, Seth.
    As for the film's budget, I think it doesn't really show that much, owing to John Boorman having, in effect, "lived off the land" when making Zardoz. The sets are wonderfully imaginative, too.
    The hairstyles certainly may echo the early '70s, but who's to say it wouldn't end up that way? I remember, while watching a 70mm presentation of 2001 in 1971, overhearing some people sitting behind me that the men's hairstyles--specifically, William Sylvester's--looked "out of date" and "old fashioned." This, of course, was in the era of long sideburns and goofy early-'70s hairstyles. These people were thinking that the then-current "look" was what was going to stay with us until the year 2001.
    Now, in this buttoned-down age, the hairstyles in 2001 look pretty ordinary.
    Zardoz, though, is a bit more extreme.
    And finally, astute HTF members will note that this is the second Zardoz thread in a row in which there has been no participation by Jeff Ulmer. Perhaps he doesn't care for the film any more? [​IMG]
     

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