In the hands of renowned experimental theater director Peter Brook, William Golding’s legendary novel about the primitivism lurking beneath civilization becomes a film as raw and ragged as the lost boys at its center. The result is a rattling masterpiece, as provocative as its source material.
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With Golding's source novel and beautiful high-contrast photography, it's impossible to be boring. It does hit a wall, though, with its child actors: it's much easier for children to carry a serious drama on the page than it is on screen—though it can be done—and these kids talk and act like adults are feeding them lines one at a time. But in the dark setpieces, where no talk is called for, the energy gets loose.
Excellent adaptation of William Golding's classic novel from director Peter Brook. The raw, unfocused cinematic style, with its gritty black-and-white cinematography and amateurish - but still convincing - performances from its young cast lends a compelling documentary realism. A classic.
Difficult to get into at first because of the line delivery from the kids. They unfortunately recite lines and it doesn't sound natural in the least. The editing for the film is top notch and I'm sure essential, owing to the difficulty of getting long takes with children. The scene with the bonfire and the first kill is terrifying in it's chaos and the final shot of Ralph is incredible.
Many films portray subjects such as the collapse of society, primal instinct, madness, and violence, but few I’ve seen have truly tapped into the heart of darkness like this one does. There’s a scene partway through the film that shows a dance by a fire and a murder, and it’s one of the most unnerving and terrifying scenes of violence and insanity I’ve seen on film. Dark, brutal masterpiece.
Curiously, I quite liked it. I don't agree that the problem is the woodenness of the acting (people really did speak like that in Britain in the 1950s: just listen to the radio or watch the tv of that period). The woodenness is in the directing. But it still retains something of the book.
The children, temporarily unsupervised after a plain crash, are just a few more murders away from recreating civilization. The adults, as usual, are reactionary and put an end to everything just as the kids are at their most creative. This film might as well have been a documentary.
The filming is extremely stark and rigid due to total lack of focus, lack of dynamic with the scenes switching in monotonous slides. While the filming is rigid, the anthropological insight about makes up for the filming technique. After reverting to the state of nature, the kids reinvent the civil agreement where the weaker ones subject themselves to the rule of the strong with the promise of safety and justice.