Author Topic: Zardoz Demystified  (Read 1252 times)

Jasper

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Zardoz Demystified
« on: January 22, 2010, 11:12:19 pm »
When I first saw Zardoz it was pretty trippy, but then I watched it again soon after, paying less attention to the hilarious spectacles.  There's actually a plot going on, and it makes sense.  It's easy to miss though, because the entire time a younger sean connery is running around being an uncivilized maniac, which makes it basically worth the hour and a half.

Writing this as I watch scene by scene, so bear with me.  The intro with the floating head gives it all away.  The plot in a few words, is that in some distant future a false utopia has come to pass, isolating itself from the barbaric outsiders and manipulating them for its needs.  The inhabitants of this utopia are functionally immortal, due to their technology that allows perfect resurrection.  One of the citizens of this utopia, hundreds of years old, grows cynical of the whole charade and wishes to die, but is not allowed to do so.  Every attempt to die ends in his resurrection by his overbearing peers.  The society is collectivistic to the point of hyperbole, such that it is common practice for large groups of them to enter "Level Two" together, which appears to be a transcendent hive-mind entity.  Zardoz, the one whose job it is to manipulate the barbaric outlanders, schemes to bring about his own death by bringing an outlander into their civilization and trying to naturalize him.  He knows, however, that this outside influence will bring about the downfall of their civilization, with his swarthy and brutish ways, allowing him a final death.  Part of the reason he manipulates the barbarians is because the utopian civilization is ideologically atavistic and anti-civilization, and his mission is population control.  He tricks them into thinking he is a god, a floating stone idol that spouts decrees and piles of guns, urging them to slay those who reproduce.  Think of him as an extreme (read: awesome) version of planned parenthood.  The other motive to the deception is to obtain food, in the form of offerings. 

So as I mentioned, the "utopians" (as I will sarcastically call them) keep "Zed" (Sean Connery) for various reasons.  Some want to study him for science, check his genes for mutations, examine his psyche as it relates to his sociological conditions outside, etc.  Some are just bored.  Others want to see more of his memories.  He begins to pollute their collectivist lifestyle.  His barbarism, and their complicity in it, call their societal ideals into question. 

It is amusing to note that in this society, people do not age unless they are convicted of a crime, and negative thoughts are a crime.  Criticizing the society is also a crime.  Those who commit crimes are aged.  A few months a misdemeanor, that sort of thing.  Eventually you get so old that you become senile and mad, and are sent to a carnival with other mad old people.  They never let you die, you just keep getting old.  They're called renegades.

The other way to go out in this society is a disease called apathy.  Scores of people just sitting with blank expressions, not thinking or doing anything at all, and it's creeping through the utopian society.  Interesting.  You either go renegade or become apathetic in the end.  Isn't that how it is with us, through subtler?

This society has studied sexuality extensively, and has come to the forgivable conclusion that erections are a response to violence stimulus.  They have found that immortal utopians, no longer needing to reproduce, have become utterly impotent.  They understand the medical process of erection, but fail to grasp the stimulus-response in psychological terms.  The punchline is that he finds the researching woman erotic, which confuses and embarrasses her.  They are an impotent society.

Eventually they decide that Zed has to be destroyed, as he comes to represent a mirror through which they see their worst failures.  A few of them try to protect him, and then it gets trippy.  Long story short, the last half hour is a confused affair wherein Zed becomes more intelligent and perfect than any of them and destroys their corrupt society, freeing them from immortality and making off with one of their women. 

In retrospect, it was a deeply sucky movie because it attempted to critique and satirize everything about everything, but ending up as just a lot of hippie-ish rubbish. 

Cainad (dec.)

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Re: Zardoz Demystified
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2010, 11:18:42 pm »
That... was surprisingly good and insightful. I watched it with very little blood in my alcohol system, so my memory of it is pretty fuxx0red. But we're gonna be watching it in a few days to kick off the Spring semester, so I will have the OP in mind as I watch it.

Jasper

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Re: Zardoz Demystified
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2010, 12:01:40 am »
Glad to be of assistance, hope I didn't ruin the amusement.

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Re: Zardoz Demystified
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2010, 12:06:53 am »
~Rev. St. Syn, KSC
Outlandishness, n. A method of distinction so cheap that fools employ it to accentuate their incapacity.

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Re: Zardoz Demystified
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2010, 12:27:48 am »
Every time i see a pic of sean connery in zardoz i can only think one thing.
COCK
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Re: Zardoz Demystified
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2010, 12:27:25 pm »
Every time i see a pic of sean connery in zardoz i can only think one thing.
COCK


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Re: Zardoz Demystified
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2010, 12:37:43 pm »
Do we only watch movies BECAUSE they're good? :wink:
Anyone ever think about how Richter inhabits the same reality as you and just scream and scream and scream, but in a good way?   :lulz:

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Re: Zardoz Demystified
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2010, 02:27:34 pm »
Any film with Sean Connery in a speedo and fuck-me boots is worth watching. He could be sitting in a chair and reading the dictionary and it would still be full of larf.


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Re: Zardoz Demystified
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2010, 02:38:56 pm »
First of all, hats off to Felix  :mrgreen:--that was quite a review for something that really has a lot of jumbled up plot and character revisions throughout the damned movie.  Second, FELIX!  You made me want to watch it again, DAMMIT!   :argh!:

Jasper

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Re: Zardoz Demystified
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2010, 07:01:53 pm »
That was my motive.  I only wrote this review to spread torment and discomfort.

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Re: Zardoz Demystified
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2010, 07:18:52 pm »
Good work, perhaps I should watch it again.  I really did feel like I had wasted my time with it the first time, though, but that was years ago.