Alright, I sat down last night (no morning viewing, ZRM), along with Grizzled, and watched Zardoz for the second time in the past 20 years... My conclusion? Once every 20 years is more than enough. What I had forgotten (which was quite a bit), had not really affected how I would feel about the film. Yes it was campy, yes parts were fun, yes there are lines worth using in daily life for a laugh, but in reality, it was just yet another post-apocalyptic view of the world with strong women who were not honoring the penis. Sean can't go for that. Boorman can't go for that. I'm guessing most men can't go for that and of course, in the end, Charlotte Rampling is reminded of what is good for her. Penis is not bad, Sean's seed is not bad...
This reminded me a smidge of Planet Earth with John Saxon. Another movie (TV pilot actually) that came out in '74. What is with me and '74 these days... Bad Ronald also released in '74... Obviously women's lib means the end of the world as we know it and men were scared. Or... Boorman was on drugs, which is how I would recommend watching this movie. I'm sure it would be much more entertaining... just not too much beer, or you'll sleep through it like I did the first time.
I prefer the Zardoz of the ZRM/fish/Jennifer variety. For that matter, I think fish looks better in red leather and a bandoleer... If anyone cannot locate their own copy of this for much needed viewing, let me know and I'll send it your way. Sean's seed must be spread!
The other day I was
planning on writing about Home for the Holidays, one of my favorite movies, but
then I was overcome with an attack of the “you’re not as good as the Lancies” .
Anyone who has read Lance’s reviews knows that he is thorough. His movie
reviews are like going to the car wash and not just opting for the rinse off,
but are like choosing the carnauba wax and the undercarriage treatment.
I suddenly doubted
my ability to review the movie, to do a critical analysis, but some kind souls
pushed me back in the direction of writing about a movie I love and it was then
that I realized… I didn’t really want to write a review per se or a critical
analysis… I just wanted to write a little bit about a movie I love.
Home for the
Holidays was released in 1995 and was directed by Jodie Foster. It stars a stellar
ensemble cast, each capable of holding their own in a leading role. Holly
Hunter is technically the lead, but her lead is equally supported by Anne Bancroft, Charles Durning, Robert Downey Jr. etc.
written by W.D Richter, was based on the short story of the same name by Chris
Radant, but only loosely resembles the original story. Foster said her
directorial debut, Little Man Tate, had been very linear and rigid and she
wanted to make a film that was anything but. She went against her grain on this
and let the movie flow wherever the energy or the actors took it.
Home for the Holidays
is basically about 48 hours in Claudia (Hunter) Larson’s life. She starts off
in her own world as an art restorer, doing her best work, getting lost in the
moment where time has no meaning and
when she snaps to she is promptly fired and is about to go spend the next painfully
slow 36 hours with her family over the Thanksgiving holiday.
I am now resisting
recapping the entire movie or discussing how it is a movie with a lot of talk
about the point while it is often brought up that there is no point. What I want to do is write about why I like
this story, like this movie. Number one is because it is indeed full of
wonderful actors who are being allowed to make it work and #2, but equally as
important, is because it is a wonderful story about how life is messy and
families are even messier.
In American, we are
fed a line about how having the nuclear family is the ideal and how if that is
in place, everything else is gravy. I think what this movie displays so well is
that being a part of a family is hard and confusing… You can love people so much it aches and yet still not understand how you or they fit in. And being an adult, as Claudia's case points out, does not spare you. Just because you are an
adult does not mean that you will not be whisked back into childhood any and
every time you go through your parents’ door. Here you are, grown up, with your
own life and people who truly get you and then Thanksgiving rolls around
and you are going home… going back in time. You are relinquishing control... you are relinquishing some of your identity. (I think this is best shown in the movie when Claudia loses her *stylish coat that fits her* at the airport and must wear her mother's horrid fucshia, down extravaganza for the remainder of her trip.) Before you know it, you are slipping into your juvenile ways and instead of
being a lead player, you are a supporting player to whatever story was drafted
long before you came along.
HFTH shows how a
family can be painfully intimate and in the same breath, painfully isolating. It
portrays how when we go back, we are no longer fully conscious of our behavior,
but revert to some kind of autopilot. We are going through the motions and are
reacting to others going through the motions, sometimes for better, sometimes
When we go home for the
holidays, all of our personal dramas collide. Sometimes we are able to maneuver
around them… sometimes they end up with ones mother chucking the “Family Feud”
game into the fireplace without a clue as to the irony of that act…
We know our family
members longer than anyone and yet we rarely really *know* them. We think we do,
but we don’t. I think I know my parents and yet I am still amazed when my
mother or father offers up some tidbit about the other that happened long
before I was a part of the plan and goes against my fully formed ideas. And I
often feel that they don’t know me, even while going through the motions of the
loving, thankful family and yet, in some quiet time, one of them will do
something that shows they have known something intrinsic about me all along.
The dialogue slows, the distraction clears and pure knowing, if only for an
instance, is there. Claudia Larson experiences this in many ways during the
film, but most of all at the end when her father reminds her of her
fearlessness. He seems distracted, out of touch, but in reality, he has seen
the kernel of who she really is and maybe reminding her will get her back to
her authentic self.
Okay, okay, I could
ramble on and on about the wonder and the insanity that is each and every American family, but
you can see a very entertaining, very slapstick instance of it in Home for the
Holidays. Every role is worth seeing (maybe with the exception of Steve
Guttenberg… sorry Steve.) Robert Downey Jr. is especially entertaining to watch. Apparently,
high as a kite, most of his performance was improvised and yet Foster said it
was better than it had originally been written... fighting his own personal demons added something extra to his role, to the story.
Often times in
families people feel they need to change to be accepted, but really what we
need to do is just love them and accept them as they are. We're all doing the best we can .