This blog Mounds and Circles is just wrapping up with Zardoz week. I approve. I approve of all the entries written and I approve of the idea of Zardoz week. With my stamp of approval, I recommend watching Zardoz. Do it. Do it now. You’re not doing it fast enough.
Zardoz is all kinds of awesome, though I don’t think I’ve seen it the proper way yet.
It is the prog rock movie.
It’s hard to tell what the proper way is. I saw it first time on the big screen as a double feature with Logan’s Run. I was also operating on no sleep and an overdose of caffeine. I figured that that imbalance was what made Zardoz so crazy and freaky for me, but then I bought the DVD and rewatched it sober. Still crazy.
I saw it on the big screen in a real faded out, pinked out 35mm print at a midnight screening, so that was disappointing.
David Munrow is the MAN, and his reworking of Beethoven in the beginning is about as haunting as music gets. Right on for this endlessly odd movie.
Heh. I can buy that.
I’ve never seen Zardoz. What am I missing? Is it like Xanadu? Do you have to have a huge tolerance for kitsch? (I’m only mildly tolerant)
Wizard of Oz week next?
Ari, you have to see it….
It’s kitsch, but in a good way. Meant to be taken more seriously than Xanadu, but with some of the same ascetics. Your tolerance for the film will probably depend on your tolerance for these two images.
literally found out about this film two days ago . gonna have a Zardoz night tonight.
Kitsch wouldn’t quite describe it to me, nor camp, but it certainly is over-the-top in a lot of regards, and very idiosyncratic. A lot of the costumes are glaringly in your face, but characters wearing them don’t really acknowledge the flamboyance, leaving the viewer to “deal” with it on their own. Great art direction, and several excellent moments of surreal imagery.
Brad, that’s a great loincloth. I’ll have to check it out. I like the idea that John Boorman spent his capital from Deliverance on Zardoz (but I guess as directors go, he’s wonderfully all over the place for better and worse).
Kitsch wouldn’t quite describe it to me, nor camp….
If there ever was a director who is “unpindownable” it surely must be Boorman.
He does have a way of presenting the utterly mad in such a way that you feel you have to take it seriously.
“Zardoz” should be seen at least once by anyone who is interested in movies. The film is like one long hallucination.
Really loving the screengrabs that have been posted…I have to see this again badly. “One long hallucination”: it’s a great example of a movie in which each scene (and the imagery you’re asked to accept) out-outlandish-es the last, till you get to the end, shaking your head, asking yourself “What, exactly, the fuck just happened?” A Razzie really seems to miss the point…whatever that may be!
At the end of viewing, I was speechless….still can’t find the words to describe Zardoz – it must be experienced !
“but I guess as directors go, he’s wonderfully all over the place for better and worse”
This entire movie, then, is like a shot of Boorman in the veins.
The blog I linked to said it best. It has not one, but two preludes, and the second one involves a giant rock spewing guns out upon a frenzied blood mad crowd after giving a speech about the evils of the penis.
And though right now in the fun of the Zardoz Week concept and some of the emphasis on its hallucinatory aspects it seems like it’s probably wacky and random, the thing is I really like it for its post-human themes, too.
“At the end of viewing, I was speechless….still can’t find the words to describe Zardoz – it must be experienced”
True. But then I saw it during my film school years (18-22,late 70s,early 80s), which were kind of a very long hallucination all by themselves. The Prog Rock movie indeed.
Kind of a dry run for Excalibur. Much better than The Emerald Forest for sure. For truly odd watch “Point Blank” again.
Hear ye, re: EXCALIBUR, though better, I think.
I’ve not seen Excalibur , but among Deliverance , Point Blank , and Zardoz Boorman has won me over as a talented director.
Excalibur = masterpiece.
Ahh, Zardoz. It is sort of a Der Ring Des Nibelungen, isn’t it? Or am I mixing up my weird sci-fi?
Catch Us if You Can aka Having a Wild Weekend is also kinda nifty. I prefer it to Hard Day’s Night and most of those other sixties band romp films if for no other reason than Boorman simply can’t do upbeat without undercutting it with the awareness of the inevitable end to the pleasure.
Zardoz is basically the film Terry Gilliam has always wanted to make but never had the balls to put together as far as I’m concerned.
Have you seen Hope and Glory Polaris?
Hope and Glory is great. Some of his lesser known films are worth checking out as well. The General, The Tailor of Panama and THe Emerald Forest. Not sure I’d defend Where the Heart Is though.
Oh, I forgot about Where the Heart Is, I liked it when it came out, but only vaguely remember it anymore.
I guess as heartwarming and comedic tales of evil developers who have their eyes opened to the miseries of the world go, it’s not bad. The casting is good too (Dabney Coleman, Crispin Glover, Christopher Plummer).
I have only seen Deliverance, Point Blank, and Zardoz. All of these recommendations are making me feel a lot more safe checking out further Boorman because I remember checking his IMDb profile and thinking, “Hrm, not all of that looks as good…”
“Zardoz is basically the film Terry Gilliam has always wanted to make but never had the balls to put together as far as I’m concerned”
Right! The garden scenes with the killing of the inmortal burguoise does remind me of later Gilliam films like Brazil.
Ever heard of a 1960s SF novel titled SOS The Rope by Piers Anthony?
Check these images.
And the synopsis-
“The novels take place on a post-apocalyptic Earth. The history is not given in detail, but the landscape is filled with the ruins of the previous civilization, and large areas (referred to as the “badlands”) are still deadly because of radiation, presumably from nuclear war. In North America, there are three main civilizations: the crazies, the underworlders, and the nomads, who are the main focus of the novels.
Two wandering warriors meet at an isolated hostel, one of many maintained by the crazies for their own inexplicable reasons…."
“The gun is good! The penis is evil!”
Sorry, had to say that.
PolarisDiB, you are strange folk indeed…
(I mean that in the best of possible ways).