Lord of the Flies (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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In the hands of the renowned experimental theater director Peter Brook, William Golding�s legendary novel on the primitivism lurking beneath civilization becomes a film as raw and ragged as the lost boys at its center. Taking an innovative documentary-like approach, Brook shot Lord of the Flies with an off-the-cuff naturalism, seeming to record a spontaneous eruption of its characters� ids. The result is a rattling masterpiece, as provocative as its source material. SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES � New, restored 4K digital film transfer, supervised by cameraman and editor Gerald Feil, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition � Audio commentary featuring director Peter Brook, producer Lewis Allen, director of photography Tom Hollyman, and Feil � Audio recordings of William Golding reading from his novel Lord of the Flies, accompanied by the corresponding scenes from the film � Deleted scene, with optional commentary and reading by Golding � Interview with Brook from 2008 � Collection of behind-the-scenes material, featuring home movies, screen tests, outtakes, and stills � New interview with Feil � Excerpt from Feil�s 1972 documentary The Empty Space, showcasing Brook�s theater methods � Something Queer in the Warehouse, a piece composed of never-before-seen footage shot by the boy actors during production, with new voice-over by Tom Gaman, who played Simon � Trailer � PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Geoffrey Macnab and an excerpt from Brook�s book The Shifting Point
In this classic 1963 adaptation of William Golding's novel, a planeload of schoolboys is stranded on a tropical island. They've got food and water; all that's left is to peacefully govern themselves until they're rescued. "After all," says choir leader Jack, "We're English. We're the best in the world at everything!" Unfortunately, living peacefully is not as easy as it seems. Though Ralph is named chief, Jack and the choristers quickly form a clique of their own, using the ever-effective political promise of fun rather than responsibility to draw converts. Director Peter Brook draws some excellent performances out of his young cast; the moment when Ralph realizes that even if he blows the conch for a meeting people might not come is an excruciating one. Well acted and faithfully executed, Lord of the Flies is as compelling today as when first released. --Ali Davis --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Now for the 1963 movie: Well, for the most part the acting is decent (Ralph and Simon are especially good) and the scenery depicts images from the book well. (I love the scene with the choir boys walking on the beach in their costumes!) Unfortunately, this movie is just too rushed in its storytelling and too short to have the same lasting effect as the book. The movie kind of zipped through the first half of the book within 20 minutes, and the characters weren't given enough solo screen time, so their personalities don't really shine like they did in the book. (For example, Roger is taken as a very minor character except when he suddenly killed Piggy, so I didn't really feel that he was representing all that is evil in human nature.)
I also never really felt the rivalry building up between Jack and Ralph in the movie, since there weren't really enough examples of it. (For example: Before Jack became a savage, there was only the one scene in which Jack argues with Ralph and says "Bollocks to the rules!" He then became a savage soon after. I would have liked to see more arguments between Jack and Ralph before Jack went ahead in becoming a savage.)
And the name "Lord of the Flies" is never explained or even mentioned during the entire film (except when it is displayed during the opening and closing credits, of course). This is probably one of the most important examples of symbolism in the entire book!
Finally there's the ending, which doesn't include the scene painted by the last two paragraphs.Read more ›
"Which is it better to be? A pack of painted savages...or sensible...Which is better? To have rules and agree, or to hurt and kill."
Then above quote said by one of the main characters is actually the crux of this extremely interesting movie based on the 1954 novel of the same name by William Golding.
The story is actually a simple one. A plane crashes on an uninhabited island. The survivors are a group of privileged preadolescent British schoolboys including some choirboys. They must learn to survive on this island until they are rescued.
We get to see what happens as the boys adapt to their new environment. We also get to observe how the veneer of civilization slowly erodes from them. We get to see how their primitive instincts overtakes the majority of them and how their moral compasses seem to get lost.
This is not just a tale of lost innocence. It's a case study of the behaviour of kids in the wilderness.
This movie was not filmed in a studio somewhere but the director (Peter Brook) and his young cast of school kids really were on a desert island together. (Filming took place entirely in Puerto Rico and on the island of Vieques)
The actors were young amateur actors, few of whom ever acted again.
For those that have read the novel, this film closely follows the trajectory of the book.
This movie was filmed in black and white, adding yet another dimension to it. This particular disc has a newly, restored digital film transfer.
Finally, the DVD set (the Criterion Collection released in 2013) has a long list of excellent extras including audio recordings of William Golding reading from his novel "Lord of the Flies," accompanied by the corresponding scenes from this film.Read more ›
"Lord of the Flies" was the first dvd I bought and it introduced me to the phenomenal Criterion Collection. Every extra on this dvd is fantastic and interesting, there is no filler or meaningless praise. The commentary alone is worth the price of this dvd, it gives a magnificent insight into how this film was made: for instance, the film was one of the first independent productions ever produced. This is one of those rare commentaries that adds to your appreciation and understanding of the film, I rank it alongside "Seven Samurai" and "Grand Illusion" (also both Criterion dvds) commentaries as among the best I have heard.
The film itself looks abolutely fantastic, worlds better than any vhs or laserdisc edition I had previously seen; criterion's produced an amazing, clean image that will be striking on any video set up.
_Lord of the Flies_ is one of my favorite novels; Golding masterfully touched on many themes and concepts about society and managed to capture the essence of humanity in the boyish caricatures he created. For the most part those themes and ideas come across very faithfully in the film. As it is pointed out in the dvd's commentary; there is no screenwriting credit, because there was no script, the production team worked straight from the novel, using it as their sole source of the story. The result is a remarkably clear and coherent adapation of the original novel, brought to life with great faith and startling prowess for a first time filmmaker.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Great movie. Good audio quality. Extras come on the dvd. If you're wanting to show it in class, apart from the violence, you'll have to be cognizant of the nude boys' rears. Read morePublished 10 months ago by E.G
While it is not possible to transliterate a novel into film, this film comes as close as possible. All secondary teachers should have a copy of this film and use it in grade ten... Read morePublished on Dec 8 2013 by Horace Raschpiggi
Teachers, students, this version captures as best it can the rawness of the action. The black-and-white format contributes to the stark reality of man's descent into Hell. Read morePublished on Sept. 29 2013 by Laurence F. Funnell
I saw this movie when I was a kid and it makes you think what would you do if you were stuck on an island and find out that no leadership causes extreme problems. Read morePublished on Aug. 5 2013 by Geoff Martin
I've seen this video more then 30 times since it came out. It is an excellent adaption of the book. Lord of the Flies (Full Screen)Published on Jan. 28 2010 by Wayne J. Stirling
i loved this movie, including the book. But the dvd costs alot but oh well.Published on Nov. 23 2006 by Joanna
This review is for the Criterion Collection DVD edition of the film.
This film, based on William Godling's novel, is a film that many will find disturbing. Read more
Some books should not be attempted as movies, this clearly is one of them. If you just watch the film instead of reading Golding's story, you'll be missing out on much of the... Read morePublished on March 9 2004 by Simon