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Author Topic: Zardoz  (Read 70474 times)
Kutter
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« Reply #90 on: June 10, 2010, 02:54:13 AM »

Sometimes a pretentious movie is just a pretentious movie.  Zardoz is one of those movies.  It's so wacky and yet it takes itself so seriously that people think there has to be some kind of depth to it.  There isn't.  It is exactly what it seems to be.

Still, fun movie, because it is so out there.
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sandra
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« Reply #91 on: June 12, 2010, 12:46:10 PM »

Boorman has made some good movies, but ZARDOZ isn't one of them.  Its what happens when people with no knowledge of or interest in Sci-Fi meddle with it.  They re-invent the wheel and think they are being profound.
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doctor von awesome
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« Reply #92 on: June 13, 2010, 05:37:52 PM »

silly, pretentious wankery that thinks its deep. yep, a perfect atheist movie.
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HarlotBug3
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« Reply #93 on: June 21, 2010, 05:32:04 PM »

I missed this site, and I don't recommend anyone miss Zardoz.

It will give you something, even if it's "I want to go back to the 70s and kill everyone who wanted to talk to the future."
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« Reply #94 on: June 21, 2010, 05:34:17 PM »

welcome back, HB!!!!
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John Richardson
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« Reply #95 on: July 08, 2010, 05:16:14 PM »

Ahead of it's time.
No surprise the reviewer is tired of people explaining that he 'did not get it'.
I'm afraid he did not.
I will not explain the true origin and role of Z. here, though it is explained clearly by the pool as the Exterminators arrive.
Suffice to say the reviewer (though generous, for somebody who has little clue as to what is going on) might have enjoyed (not to say appreciated) the film more if he understood why the elderly were really aged.
'Friends' first explanation is not actually true....he couldn't tell the truth to Z...because then Z could not....

Oh, and they are impotent because they do not reproduce.

Crummy voice over by the director 26 years later ?
Irrelevant.

A truly fantastic film.
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Andrew
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« Reply #96 on: July 08, 2010, 08:11:21 PM »

Crummy voice over by the director 26 years later ?
Irrelevant.

Really?  That the writer/director did not delve into any meaning behind his film is irrelevant?  People, including you, insist that I just don't "get it," and the fact that the person who made the film also doesn't seem to "get it" is extremely relevant in my eyes.  He had 105 minutes, surely he could have mentioned something deeper than "that's a model."

Suffice to say the reviewer (though generous, for somebody who has little clue as to what is going on) might have enjoyed (not to say appreciated) the film more if he understood why the elderly were really aged.
'Friends' first explanation is not actually true....he couldn't tell the truth to Z...because then Z could not....

In this and the true role of Z your argument is that my problem is not understanding the film, but you do not offer any insight into what you perceive to be the message.  That is nothing more than a dodge on your part.  Please explain the true role of Z, and please explain the true reason why the elderly were aged.

Also, by using the intentionally confusing "Z" you make it hard to understand who you are referring to.  Zed or Zardoz?
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Andrew Borntreger
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John Richardson
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« Reply #97 on: July 10, 2010, 05:45:38 PM »

Hello Andrew,

I hope you see this response as I am unused to this site; my thoughts on 'Zardoz' being my first contribution/visit.
Now, you ask about Zed's true role.
I did not spell this out as it would spoil the film for any one who hadn't seen it.
Zed is not a rebel or a revolutionary.
He is instead the tool of two eternals who have created him to release them from eternity. Everything is planned (as with 'The Matrix Reloaded, there may have been previous Zeds).
This is because the Eternals have exhausted every option, including space travel. As explained in the film, that was; "....another dead end". The Eternals are falling to a 'catatonic state' ("...it's spreading through the Vortexes.")
Very briefly, Zed becomes a true Man-God, or Nazi Superman* or 'Trans-human' to use contemporary/current terms.
He has supernatural powers to control time and natural forces (the wind most dramatically).

"Meanwhile, Zed impregnates May and almost a dozen of her friends before the Connery baby-batter-infused ladies flee the ruin of Vortex 4."
I'm pretty sure this does not happen.......
Instead Zed 'revives' or perhaps 'triggers' willing eternals. Using touch.

You also ask about the films 'deeper meaning'. Yes I would certainly address this should you wish, not now as it's late. I warn you, it is frighteningly relevant to today's world. Honest.

Perhaps on reflection you might forgiver the directors rambling. He seems to be adding professional not artistic/philosophical insight. Also he's v. old. Also, he did publish a book he felt would better explain the concept, alongside the film at the time. He wondered if it might work better as a novel; so he did believe in the intellectual concept.

Regards. 


*Don't dismiss this twisted concept without honest enquiry.
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John Richardson
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« Reply #98 on: July 10, 2010, 05:57:10 PM »

Drat.

Just realised I didn't explain the aged.

They were the eternal's parents.
The created the whole shebang.
Not 'renegades' exactly.
Their children called them, 'middle aged' or 'too middle aged', for their taste....... None survived their children's disappointment and so were all aged. Hence no 'original' scientists in the community Zed arrives in. They lost a power struggle with their (evil) children who discarded them.
The greatest ageing is given to the inventor of immortality. Zed speaks with him as he dies.
Friend is not telling the whole truth when he first explains transgression & punishment in the Vortex.
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Andrew
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« Reply #99 on: July 10, 2010, 08:25:27 PM »

Now, you ask about Zed's true role.
I did not spell this out as it would spoil the film for any one who hadn't seen it.
Zed is not a rebel or a revolutionary.
He is instead the tool of two eternals who have created him to release them from eternity. Everything is planned (as with 'The Matrix Reloaded, there may have been previous Zeds).
This is because the Eternals have exhausted every option, including space travel. As explained in the film, that was; "....another dead end". The Eternals are falling to a 'catatonic state' ("...it's spreading through the Vortexes.")
Very briefly, Zed becomes a true Man-God, or Nazi Superman* or 'Trans-human' to use contemporary/current terms.
He has supernatural powers to control time and natural forces (the wind most dramatically).

Arthur Frayn does take credit for the selective breeding program that eventually produced Zed and his co-conspirator executioners, but Zed also throws that back into Arthur's face right before the scene at the fountain that you mentioned earlier.  Zed came about because he is the next step in evolution.  The man who made the Tabernacle says that Nature made Zed.  From the review:

Quote
As it turns out, Zed is physically, mentally, and genetically superior to the Eternals. He is the product of hundreds of years of natural selection and a breeding program guided by Zardoz (Arthur Frayn). While the Eternals were inventing time-consuming social etiquette just to fill the endless days of their lives, Zed's ancestors were fighting tooth and nail, blood and sweat, for the right to survive and reproduce.

I see the movie's basic argument is that people were not meant to live forever.  On a personal level, becoming an Eternal removed reasons for living, the things that are the zest of life.  No babies to carry on humanity's march into the future, no frantic efforts to improve the world before death, no fear of death itself.  Just endless days stretching before the Eternals, and no way for them to have any choice in the matter.  From the review: 

Quote
The reason for the ubiquitous erectile dysfunction appears to be the lack of urgency in the Eternals' life. Nobody dies, everyone acts nice to each other, and I doubt any of the men have ever worn boxing gloves or baseball cleats in their uselessly long lives. Life is a bland mixture, served at room temperature, so that nobody is discomforted. Unfortunately, that means that nobody is especially happy, either.


"Meanwhile, Zed impregnates May and almost a dozen of her friends before the Connery baby-batter-infused ladies flee the ruin of Vortex 4."
I'm pretty sure this does not happen.......
Instead Zed 'revives' or perhaps 'triggers' willing eternals. Using touch.

From the scene when Zed bids farewell to May and the others, I believed that he had given then children to carry on the evolution of the human race.  He does mention their sons and daughters.

My interpretation of the apathetics becoming full of life was that their exposure to Zed introduced them to something more than their flavorless existence.  The rediscovered a reason to enjoy, to struggle, to live. 

You also ask about the films 'deeper meaning'. Yes I would certainly address this should you wish, not now as it's late. I warn you, it is frighteningly relevant to today's world. Honest.

Please, when time allows for you to post such.

Drat.

Just realised I didn't explain the aged.

They were the eternal's parents.
The created the whole shebang.
Not 'renegades' exactly.
Their children called them, 'middle aged' or 'too middle aged', for their taste....... None survived their children's disappointment and so were all aged. Hence no 'original' scientists in the community Zed arrives in. They lost a power struggle with their (evil) children who discarded them.
The greatest ageing is given to the inventor of immortality. Zed speaks with him as he dies.
Friend is not telling the whole truth when he first explains transgression & punishment in the Vortex.

I believe that the renegades are populated by both the parents, the scientists who created the vortexes and the Tabernacle, and some of their children.  From what is told, there was not a power struggle between the scientists and their children.  It's just that all of the parents have gone renegade, perhaps because they were less suited to the way of life in the vortexes than the younger generation (who grew into adulthood in the confines of the vortex).
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Andrew Borntreger
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John Richardson
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« Reply #100 on: July 13, 2010, 12:10:17 PM »

'Zardoz', my understanding of it's spiritual/political import.

Now, for me 'Zardoz' is not entertainment as such. Boorman had total control following his 'Deliverance' smash hit. He chose to either make a statement or to give a warning, depending upon your view. I understand your analysis; that humans should not live forever, but surly, there is so much more going on throughout the film ? I imagine the boredom and insanity of eternity would have figured even more prominently, if that were the case.

I regard the people who enter the Vortex as being the contemporary elite that we endure in our world today.
Those who desire control over others.
Those who pursue unimaginable wealth.
Those born to expect the above & to view it as their birthright ['My Duty & My Right'; motto of our House of Windsor].
Now supplanted or joined by a new, debased, Godless, scientific/technological elite.
Who refuse to label GM food.
Who sell terminator seeds.
cont.   
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John Richardson
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« Reply #101 on: July 13, 2010, 12:21:12 PM »

Those who use the Internet to exert control.
Those who invent WsMD.
Those who would 'chip' the human population.
Those who create mood altering drugs for profit; such as MDMA for example. (Who really believes that was designed as a slimming drug ?)

You can throw your own examples on the pile if you like. My point is that we are living in a unique era. We are more vulnerable to the power of elites than ever before. The technology at their disposal is terrifying. The information (about us,the natural world,human behaviour,even the human psyche) they have easy access to, when allied to new technology, affords almost supernatural power to them and their progeny.
Think I'm overstating my case ?
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John Richardson
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« Reply #102 on: July 13, 2010, 12:50:11 PM »

That would be reasonable. However, I would ask you to consider reading (especially the first few pages) this short essay by Bill Joy 'Why The Future Doesn't Need Us' (2000), co founder and Chief Scientist of Sun Microsystems, co chair of the presidential commission on the future of IT research. For example he explains; "I think it is no exaggeration to say we are on the cusp of the further perfection of extreme evil, an evil whose possibility spreads well beyond that which weapons of mass destruction bequeathed to the nation-states, on to a surprising and terrible empowerment of extreme individuals."
Yes.
Andrew, these 'extreme individuals' are real. They exist today and they are not idle.
For example, see You-tube; 'Bill Gates Admits Vaccines Are Used for Human Depopulation'. If you are unfamiliar with these topics you will be shocked.
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John Richardson
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« Reply #103 on: July 13, 2010, 01:21:25 PM »

Any sane person would be.
'Zardoz' is a warning.
These elite notions of technological immortality are powerful ideas.They go back to Thomas Malthus. Boorman is flagging them up. Andrew, if you study the eugenicist movement and their actions & beliefs, ;you would surly conclude the world of Zed was not 'dying' as explained. Instead it was murdered. The elite murdered it. They exterminated Billions another contributors to this site mentioned 'the Illuminate' in reference to 'Zardoz', he was correct. The elite did not hide from catastrophe, they caused it & then inherited the Earth. (Friend admits the technology was for space travel, lucky they were able to work so quickly amid social breakdown ? Hardly.)This is the reason the Exterminators exist you see. As 'man would spread like a pestilence across the land' if not murdered by them. Did you ever wonder why the eternals did not use their technological power to help the savage survivors ? Why they are not developing civilisation? They did not become immortal to survive. No. The whole point was the quest for perfection, the deaths of the common rabble an irrelevance. This is the statement Boorman was making, 'This is the future planned for the masses; savagery and madness. Technology makes the elite's dark fantasies a possibility. Nature will be the self correcting factor. Eventually.'
I disagree with his statement but respect his warning.
If I am correct it would explain his reserved, technical voice over I suppose.
As for 'not getting it' the whole point of 'Zardoz' is that we don't 'all get it'. Boorman obviously has real sympathy with the elite. Neither did I at first, but as another blogger here wrote,'There was something about the film....I couldn't get it out of my mind'.
Well. I warned you it was heavy.
Try, if you would, to find the time to peruse those above two sources. This topic is so strange, original 'references' are more necessary than usual.
I look forward to any response you might post here.

Regards. 
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Andrew
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« Reply #104 on: July 14, 2010, 02:48:49 PM »

These elite notions of technological immortality are powerful ideas.They go back to Thomas Malthus. Boorman is flagging them up. Andrew, if you study the eugenicist movement and their actions & beliefs, ;you would surly conclude the world of Zed was not 'dying' as explained. Instead it was murdered. The elite murdered it. They exterminated Billions another contributors to this site mentioned 'the Illuminate' in reference to 'Zardoz', he was correct. The elite did not hide from catastrophe, they caused it & then inherited the Earth. (Friend admits the technology was for space travel, lucky they were able to work so quickly amid social breakdown ? Hardly.)This is the reason the Exterminators exist you see. As 'man would spread like a pestilence across the land' if not murdered by them. Did you ever wonder why the eternals did not use their technological power to help the savage survivors ? Why they are not developing civilisation? They did not become immortal to survive. No. The whole point was the quest for perfection, the deaths of the common rabble an irrelevance. This is the statement Boorman was making, 'This is the future planned for the masses; savagery and madness. Technology makes the elite's dark fantasies a possibility. Nature will be the self correcting factor. Eventually.'

I believe that I understand your argument for the film's deeper meaning.  However, there is not a scene in the film that supports the idea that the Eternals caused the downfall of civilization.  From the scene with the scientists and their children, and the little speech given, it appears that the world is going to Hell in a handbasket and the Eternals effectively shut it out.  They used their technology to wall themselves off from the misery, poverty, starvation, and war that consumed everything else.  Such comes the scene with the refugees staring across the invisible wall into the idyllic paradise of the Eternals.

Also, there are different classes of elite in modern human culture.  Scientific is one of them, and appears to be the one represented by the Eternals, but most of your examples appear to be more targeted at the power elite.

I disagree with your argument about the elite causing the savagery and madness endured by others.  Besides Arthur's selective breeding program and forced labor for growing crops (which must be a limited scope - he is still only one person), the Eternals do not meddle in the affairs of the people outside the vortex.  Even the forced farming must be fairly recent, as Zed's comments indicate it was a new development that did not sit well with him.  So, the Eternals just turned their back on the rest of the world as it fell into chaos.  Granted, they could have tried to help civilization to rebuild, but that also doesn't fit with how the Eternal society is portrayed.  Unless something affects them or their harmony, such as disturbing thoughts during group meditation, they are too self-engrossed to care.

The idea of an elite caste controlling technology that so outpaces that available to the average person is interesting.  It has been covered in a number of books and stories as well.  In some, everyone eventually becomes more equal due to the tech being shared.  In others, the worst case scenario like you depict is the result.
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