Time for another weird movie I saw long ago. I know why I started watching it (it looked like a promising sci-fi romp), but I don’t know why I kept watching through to the end. The whole movie feels like an acid trip. Anyway, if you figure out what this flick is trying to say, please let me know…
I give you: “ZARDOZ“!!!! (I would say “enjoy” but I’m not sure it would be appropriate…)
By the time he participated in Zardoz, Sean Connery had already completed most of his run as James Bond – meaning he could have done anything he wanted. My first impression was that he chose the role of Zed because he was looking for a working vacation – there were very few lines to memorize and 90% of the cast members are attractive young women who have trouble keeping their tiny tops in place. But sometimes first impressions can be misleading, and I think that Connery actually saw something much more in this film.
Zardoz isn’t just a sci-fi romp. The distant future setting is really just a means for exploring other themes. At it’s base, Zardoz is a thought experiment. It’s an exploration of the human condition through the nature of mortality and a critical examination of how organized religion informs our understanding of that condition – and, since it’s the 1970s all of this is seen through a veil of post-hippie ideals. Love and sexuality, equality and superiority, immortality and humanity, knowledge and instinct, are each deliberately portrayed in caricature. The intention is to illuminate these concepts along a continuum rather than treat them as strict dichotomies.
And I think it works. The film is a bizarre trip, for sure, but its goal is to present the audience with questions rather than answers.
As I noted, Connery has few lines in this film. But if you pay attention you’ll see that much of what he does say is unconsciously thought-provoking. “I see nothing inside, except my own complexity.”