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Encyclopedia > Zardoz
Zardoz

Theatrical release poster.
Directed by John Boorman
Produced by John Boorman
Written by John Boorman
Starring Sean Connery
Charlotte Rampling
Sara Kestelman
Music by David Munrow
Cinematography Geoffrey Unsworth
Editing by John Merritt
Distributed by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Release date(s) Flag of United States February 6, 1974
Running time 105 min.
Country Flag of United States United States
Language English
Budget $1,000,000
estimated.
All Movie Guide profile
IMDb profile

Zardoz is a 1974 science fiction film written, produced, and directed by John Boorman. It stars Sean Connery, Charlotte Rampling, and Sara Kestelman. Zardoz is Connery's second post-James Bond role (after The Offence). Image File history File links 155256. ... John Boorman (born January 18, 1933 in Shepperton, Surrey, United Kingdom), is a British filmmaker, currently based in Ireland, best known for his feature films such as Point Blank, Deliverance, Excalibur, and The General. ... John Boorman (born January 18, 1933 in Shepperton, Surrey, United Kingdom), is a British filmmaker, currently based in Ireland, best known for his feature films such as Point Blank, Deliverance, Excalibur, and The General. ... John Boorman (born January 18, 1933 in Shepperton, Surrey, United Kingdom), is a British filmmaker, currently based in Ireland, best known for his feature films such as Point Blank, Deliverance, Excalibur, and The General. ... Sir Thomas Sean Connery (born 25 August 1930) is an Academy Award-winning Scottish actor and producer who is perhaps best known as the first actor to portray James Bond in cinema. ... Rampling modeling on a Mickey Spillane book cover, 1972. ... Sara Kestelman (born 12 May 1944) is a United Kingdom actress. ... David Munrow (August 12, 1942 – May 15, 1976) was a musician and early music historian. ... Geoffrey Unsworth (1914-1978) was a British cinematographer who enjoyed a long and varied career in the British film industry, working on nearly 90 feature films spanning more than 40 years. ... Related articles FOX Television Network Fox Searchlight Pictures Fox Entertainment Group List of Hollywood movie studios List of movies Variant of current 20th Century Fox logo External links 20th Century Fox Movies official site Twentieth Century Fox is also the punning title of a song by The Doors on their... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... February 6 is the 37th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Tuesday. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... See also: 1973 in film 1974 1975 in film 1970s in film years in film film // Events February 7 - Blazing Saddles is released in USA May 1 - George Lucas creates the first draft of what would eventually become Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... John Boorman (born January 18, 1933 in Shepperton, Surrey, United Kingdom), is a British filmmaker, currently based in Ireland, best known for his feature films such as Point Blank, Deliverance, Excalibur, and The General. ... Sir Thomas Sean Connery (born 25 August 1930) is an Academy Award-winning Scottish actor and producer who is perhaps best known as the first actor to portray James Bond in cinema. ... Rampling modeling on a Mickey Spillane book cover, 1972. ... Sara Kestelman (born 12 May 1944) is a United Kingdom actress. ... For other uses, see Casino Royale (2006 film). ... The Offence is a 1972 film directed by Sydney Lumet and starring Sean Connery as an exhausted Police Detective who snaps and kills a suspect. ...


The film contains a mix of mythology, satire and allegory in a bizarre, sprawling plot filled with twists and incongruities. Filmed on a small budget of US$1 million, Zardoz's mixture of cerebral, philosophical sci-fi was in complete contrast to Boorman's previous film, the brutal thriller Deliverance. The film was shot by cinematographer Geoffrey Unsworth. An attempt to market the film to the post-2001: A Space Odyssey audience was unsuccessful, although the film has since developed a cult following. The word mythology (from the Greek μυολογία mythología, from μυολογείν mythologein to relate myths, from μύος mythos, meaning a narrative, and λόγος logos, meaning speech or argument) literally means the (oral) retelling of myths – stories that a particular culture believes to be true and that use the supernatural to interpret natural events and... Satire is a literary technique of writing or art which principally ridicules its subject (individuals, organizations, states) often as an intended means of provoking or preventing change. ... An allegory (from Greek αλλος, allos, other, and αγορευειν, agoreuein, to speak in public) is a figurative representation conveying a meaning other than and in addition to the literal. ... The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Geoffrey Unsworth (1914-1978) was a British cinematographer who enjoyed a long and varied career in the British film industry, working on nearly 90 feature films spanning more than 40 years. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...

Contents

Plot

In a future post-apocalypse Earth (2293), the human population is divided into the immortal "Eternals" and mortal "Brutals". The Brutals live in a dark-ages wasteland. The Eternals, who live apart in various "Vortices" (singular "Vortex"), hidden bastions of civilization, lead a luxurious but aimless existence. The contrast between the two groups is stark. In general, calamity after calamity has reduced life on much of the Earth to dire subsistence levels. The distant Eternals are unknown to most people. The only contact between the groups is through a religious warrior class called the "Exterminators", who kill and terrorize other Brutals at the orders of a huge flying stone head called Zardoz. The stone head supplies them with weapons and ideology in exchange for the food they collect. Apocalyptic science fiction is a sub-genre of science fiction that is concerned with the end of the world or civilization, through nuclear war, plague, or some other general disaster. ... This article is about living for infinite period of time. ...

Sean Connery as Zed.
Sean Connery as Zed.

Zed (Connery), an Exterminator, hides aboard Zardoz during one trip, "killing" its Eternal operator-creator, Arthur Frayn (Niall Buggy). Arriving in the Vortex as a stowaway, Zed meets two Eternals — Consuella (Charlotte Rampling) and May (Sara Kestelman). They possess psychic powers, easily overcoming Zed and making him a prisoner of the community of decadent effetes in order to study him. Zed is put to work as a physical laborer under the direction of a subversive troublemaker called Friend (John Alderton). Image File history File links Zardoz_zed. ... Image File history File links Zardoz_zed. ... Rampling modeling on a Mickey Spillane book cover, 1972. ... Sara Kestelman (born 12 May 1944) is a United Kingdom actress. ... Psychic, from the Greek psychikos meaning mental, of the soul (in turn derived from psyche meaning soul, mind), is a term used to describe phenomena or abilities that are said to originate from the brain but which transcend its confines. ... John Alderton (born November 27, 1940), is a popular British actor. ...


Over time Zed learns the nature of the Vortex. The Eternals are overseen and protected from death by an AI called the Tabernacle. Through their vastly extended lifespan the Eternals have grown bored, corrupt, and impotent. They spend days stewarding the vast knowledge of humanity while doing little themselves besides participating in bizarre rituals, mass meditations and navel gazing. As they never die, the passage of time is largely meaningless as a result. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Garry Kasparov playing against Deep Blue, the first machine to win a chess game against a reigning world champion. ... Omphaloskepsis is the contemplation of ones navel as an aid to meditation. ...


This has led to social problems. Violating the complex set of social rules, thereby going "Renegade", is a punishable offense that results in artificial aging. An Eternal thus aged will remain as the feeble elderly for the rest of time. More recently some have fallen into catatonia through an odd mental illness, forming a new social strata the Eternals call the "Apathetics". This is a page about catatonic state. ...


As the story progresses, it becomes clear that Zed is not quite the "brutal" the Eternals believe him to be. He very quickly divines the nature of the Vortex and its problems, and starts to play an increasingly proactive role among the Eternals. The backstory develops to reveal that Zed was aware of the true nature of Zardoz, having been led to an old book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; the origin of the name Zardoz (Wizard of Oz). After revealing that Frayn had led him to the book and taught him to read, the story is completed; Zed is the ultimate creation of Frayn's long-running experiment in creative eugenics, using the Exterminator class to control the Brutals with the aim of breeding a superman to save humanity from its dead-end status quo. He had led Zed to understand the nature of Zardoz, hoping he would use it to infiltrate the Vortex. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) is a childrens book written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W.W. Denslow. ... Eugenics is the self-direction of human evolution: Logo from the Second International Congress of Eugenics, 1921, depicting it as a tree which unites a variety of different fields. ...


The Eternals discover the deceit and "age" Friend, while attempting to control Zed. But Zed is actually smarter than the Eternals, and is eventually able to withstand their psychic powers. He destroys the Tabernacle, after which the Vortex is invaded by other Exterminators who bring death to the majority of Eternals, typically with their blessing, given the novelty of the events. A few Eternals escape to make a new life outside the Vortex among the Brutals, carrying the knowledge of civilization. The allegorical ending shows Zed and Consuella producing a child, growing old and dying naturally, whilst the sound of the second movement of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony swells in the soundtrack. Ludwig van Beethoven began substantial work on his Symphony No. ...


History

Zardoz is notable for being the first time a search engine (or a precursor) is shown in a film, retrieving visual images from a database, years before the personal computer was invented. Friend (John Alderton) is shown instructing the computer to search for specific images of cars in the way that we associate with search engines, except with voice recognition software .


Production

In the DVD commentary Boorman repeatedly complains about the low budget of the film. Nevertheless he attempted to fill it with a sort of concept art. The Exterminators hunt down the Brutals while wearing large red paper mache facemasks, loincloths and matching bandoliers. The Brutals are instead dressed almost universally in sport coats and jeans, except for young women, who are dressed in "caveman" garb. In one scene, Zed escapes from the Eternals by dressing in a wedding gown. The head of Zardoz, arguably the most important set in terms of plot development, is clearly made of painted paper mache. Most of the sets in the Vortex are equally low quality, variously consisting of large inflated plastic sheets, "olde English" villages, or pastel decorated set; the Tabernacle is simply a room filled with mirrors. Concept art is a form of illustration where the main goal is to convey a visual representation of a design, idea, and/or mood for use in movies, video games, or comic books before it is put into the final product. ... Papier-mâché (French, chewed-up paper) is a construction material that consists of pieces of paper, sometimes reinforced with textiles, stuck together using a wet paste (e. ... A bandolier is a pocketed belt for holding ammunition. ...


Reception

In 2004 the magazine Total Film described Connery's costume (consisting of a ponytail wig, leather knee boots, and a loincloth which bears a strong resemblance to a giant orange nappy or diaper) as the number one "dumbest decision in movie history".[citation needed] shelby was here 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Total Film, published by Future Publishing, is the United Kingdoms second best-selling film magazine, after the longer-established Empire from Emap. ... This article or section is not written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article. ...


Quotes

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Zardoz
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If the content can be changed to be more encyclopedic rather than just a list of quotes, please do so and remove this message. Otherwise, you can help by formatting it per the Wikiquote guidelines in preparation for the duplication. Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Wikiquote is a sister project of Wikipedia, using the same MediaWiki software. ... Image File history File links Edit-copy. ... Wikiquote is a sister project of Wikipedia, using the same MediaWiki software. ...

  • Zardoz: The gun is good. The penis is evil. The penis shoots seeds, and makes new life to poison the earth with a plague of men, as once it was. But the gun shoots death, and purifies the earth of the filth of brutals. Go forth... and kill! [Zardoz proceeds to vomit a torrent of rifles and ammunition for his followers to use.]

See also

This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...

References

External links


 
 

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