Sunday, July 29, 2012

Does Zardoz Speak About Gun Control ?

My friend Ken Cope brought up the idea recently that anti gun control legislation activists might have been influenced, consciously or unconsciously, by John Boorman's brilliant and under-recognized 1974 masterpiece Zardoz.

[Addendum: I forgot to mention that this film seems to have been photographed in 70 mm.  This is particularly noticeable in the opening sequences as Zardoz drifts over the countryside.]

Zardoz speaks to you, his chosen ones.

Who could forget Sean Connery running around in a bright red jock strap? Or his pioneering role in cinema as a male sex-toy and lust-object for the various women protagonists of this ground-breaking film? Or of the incredibly stupid hair styles and costume choices of the citizens of the Eternal City?

There is one scene at the beginning of the film that is particularly memorable.   In this famous scene, God manifests himself as a large flying stone head which levitates around the countryside making house calls to the various tribes, spouting both wisdom and ammunition.

God says (in a slightly abbreviated form)

               Zardoz speaks to you, his chosen ones.

               You have been raised up from brutality to kill the Brutals, who
               multiply and are legion.  To this end, your God gave you the gift
               of the gun, 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 the Brutals.  Go
               forth and kill.

               Zardoz has spoken.

When I wrote Ken to ask him to check whether I had accurately represented his ideas here, he wrote: "I would just say that Boorman was an acute observer of the human condition, for various values of "human," and also note that correlation is not causation."

That's too bad, it would be much more fun if this faction had actually been inspired by Zardoz.

Check out these perfect 70s hair styles and outfits.   Are they dressing for the disco?

The Trailer

The Wikipedia Page

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