HOME   News   Reviews   Adv Search   Features   My DVD   About   Apps   Stats     Search:
  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.66:1
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
  Subtitles
  • None
  Extras

    Lord of the Flies

    Universal/Universal . R4 . COLOR . 86 mins . PG . PAL

      Feature
    Contract

    Lord of the Flies is a stark reminder, especially pertinent right now, that mankind is a tribal species which is willing virtually overnight to drop its veneer of civilisation and revert to the barbarism which was for countless generations our natural state.

    William Golding's novel was adapted superbly by the renowned stage director Peter Brook in this 1963 movie. The only updating was almost unnoticeable. The novel began with a plane-load of English schoolboys fleeing the air-raids of the Second World War. The film updates this to the early 1960s as the schoolboys seek to escape a threatened nuclear attack.

    En-route to a Pacific haven, their plane is attacked and crashes on a deserted tropical island. From this point on, this could be 1943. Or 1983, or 2003. Or 2003 BC. As their clothes slowly shred away, so do their schoolboy personas, and the whole apparatus of behavioural modes and controls which society dictates we need.

    How quickly and relentlessly this little parcel of English schoolboys descent into savagery. How cruel they quickly become. How intolerant of those who are different, whether it is in their despisal of Piggy because he is fat, wears glasses and complains about his asthma, or, even more poignantly, their alienation from Simon, the island's philosopher. Simon dares to seek the truth about the bogey which is on the one hand terrifying the tribe, and on the other, giving authority to the tribe's self-proclaimed leader. Simon would not fare well here, today, either.

    This is a shocking movie. The film pursues an inexorable course which is just totally harrowing. The film is so naturalistic that the director's hand is totally invisible. Yet he managed a great feat to coax natural, unforced performances from his tribe of young players. The movie traces an ordeal which is as hard for the viewer as it is for its characters - but it is compulsive viewing, demanding repeated screenings.

    The allying of sound and image is particularly fine, with Raymond Leppard contributing a haunting soundtrack which merges the English choral tradition with tribal rhythms and chant. The music is a particularly important stucture in the many layers which make up this assault on the thin line separating modern man from savage.

      Video
    Contract

    This black-and-white widescreen movie is given a 16.9 anamorphic transfer and the print quality in terms of shading and contrast is superb. Not so good though are evident signs of some physical damage to the print or negative, with some intermittent running scratch lines cropping up for minutes on end.

    This is never a bad enough problem to impede full involvement in the movie, though; it's just a sign that this '40th Anniversary Special Edition' isn't really that special at all. It would be interesting to compare this edition with the American issue by the specialist company Criterion. Unfortunately, Criterion is barred from selling its fine DVDs directly in Australia, although they can be imported via the Internet.

      Audio
    Contract

    The two-channel sound is adequate, serving Raymond Leppard's score very well, and giving good clarity to dialogue. There is no sign of peaking or damage to the audio track; it is fully serviceable although not outstanding.

      Extras
    Contract

    There are no extra features on the disc.

      Overall  
    Contract

    This is one of the great British movies and it should be part of any serious collection. It should also be compulsory buying for all secondary schools in Australia. This would be a far better preparation for life after school than all the religious education and other irrelevancies our schools offer.


  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=2286
  • Send to a friend.

    Cast your vote here: You must enable cookies to vote.
  •   
      And I quote...
    "William Golding's harrowing novel Lord of the Flies is given a well-nigh perfect cinema adaptation by brilliant English stage director Peter Brook. "
    - Anthony Clarke
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Panasonic A330
    • TV:
          Loewe Profil Plus 3272 68cm
      Recent Reviews:
    by Anthony Clarke

    A Fistful of Dollars (Sony)
    "An essential Spaghetti-Western, given deluxe treatment by MGM."

    Stripes
    "Falls short of being a classic, but it gives us Bill Murray, so it just has to be seen."

    Creature Comforts - Series 1: Vol. 2
    "Delicious comic idea given the right-royal Aardman treatment. "

    The General (Buster Keaton)
    "Forget that this is a silent movie. This 1927 classic has more expression, movement and sheer beauty (along with its comedy) than 99 per cent of films made today."

    Dr Who - Claws Of Axos
    "Is it Worzel Gummidge? No, it's Jon Pertwee in his other great television role, as the good Doctor battling all kinds of evil on our behalf."

      Related Links
      None listed

     

    Search for Title/Actor/Director:
    Google Web dvd.net.au
       Copyright DVDnet. All rights reserved. Site Design by RED 5   
    rss