Wednesday, February 20, 2008


When reading that Cronon essay for the 10th time the other night I was struck by the passage about the model frontiersman being hypermasculine. The image I had fought so hard to bury - a young Sean Connery wearing little more than thigh-high boots and a weird red leotard - came to me. Yes, my friends, I have come here to discuss one of the greatest films ever made - John Boorman's Zardoz.

While Zardoz is far from the perfect allegory for "Getting Back to the Wrong Nature", it is chock full of colorful illustrations of problems that arise from the wilderness concept Cronon urges us to drop. Actually, the film is so outlandish that you could probably put any kind of spin on it (paper topic alert), but on to my point. Two distinct classes exist in the post-apocalyptic setting of Zardoz - a small group of feminine, super intelligent and immortal beings with telepathic powers (Eternals), and the barbaric race of men who populate the Earth.

The Eternals are an exaggerated picture of the upper echelons of our society. On the one hand they entertain one another with telepathic banter and hold quaint meetings to work through the issues in their community. On the other hand they seem to be completely detached when it comes to exploiting the Sean Connery's of Earth to get their food (the Eternals are vegetarians). They even go so far as to recruit a subset of 'brutes' whose sole purpose is to keep their own population size in check.

Though they live in luxury and have cool powers, the Eternals can't help but be sad about having to live forever. Fortunately, things get shaken up when Sean Connery finds a way to enter their world. The Eternals discover that this brute is far more complex than they originally presumed.

I have probably already said too much. This is a must see movie and I don't want to ruin it for you. I'm getting together with another ntres232 person to watch it this Friday or Saturday and you are welcome to join us.

A trailer:

1 comment:

Jim Tantillo said...

netflix here I come . . . .