Lord of the Flies

With no adult survivors alive, a group of young boys who have been evacuated from their schools, crash land on a remote Island in the South Pacific. Taking on the responsibilities of adults, the young boys need someone to tell them what to do... elect a leader. Inevitably, two factions are formed while one group wants to build shelter, gather fruit, and keep the signal fire burning and the other wants to hunt and have fun. The growing hostility between the two groups escalates into betrayal, hostility, and even murder!

This 1963 film was directed by Peter Brook and is based off the Nobel Prize winning author William Golding's novel of the same name.

The movie starts off a little shaky. The opening title scenes begin with old black and white photos, audio, and the Ken Burns effect. Pretty lame. We follow though what looks like a young boy's boarding school life, evacuation, and plane crash all with still photos. I'm pretty bummed at this point in the viewing. The actual movie begins much like the TV series LOST with a boy waking up in the middle of the jungle; his plane crashed and sucked back with the tide. As the boys begin to assemble and the characters are introduced, I'm immediately drawn into the story. Another similarity to LOST is that the motivated leader of the hunting sect's name is Jack.

My favorite character of the movie is this fat spectacle wearing kid with asthma. The kid, appropriately named Piggy, does an amazing job with his role and provokes heart wrenching emotion from his audience. I know immediately this character is destined for bad things.

The film definitely takes a creepy perspective on the degradation of a society. Brilliantly told through a large group of boys, it's amazing to see how fast humanity resorts to savagery, fear, and murder. When seeing boys acting the way they are acting... it's disturbing.

The camera work and gritty black and white is absolutely beautiful. Brooks captures boys, spears, and jungle like no other. I would have hated to be on his dolly crew. Some of the camera moves he pulls off are quite impressive and very complicated, especially within a thick jungle.

Lord of the Flies was always a book that I had wanted to read. When I saw that the Criterion Collection issued an edition of the 1963 classic, I decided to go the film route instead. "Flies" is a brilliant movie (minus the opening credits and set up) that will provoke your emotions like only a classic black and white can. If you are a fan of LOST, I definitely recommend. I'm assuming a lot has been pulled from Golding's concept... Jack the Leader, waking up in the jungle, and the way the groups and sects form between the different types of people. Very very similar.

Reviewed by: shea
8 Comment(s)
Andy said...
The Simpson's take on Lord of the Flies is also a classic. Milhouse as piggy...Nelson as leader of the violent group... brilliant.
Josh said...
I still haven't seen this version. I made the mistake of renting the "updated" early 1990's version. Do yourself a favor and avoid making the same mistake.
martha said...
oooh... i'll have to look into this. lord of the flies is one of my favorite books (i'm morbid... i know). and this sounds like it might actually do a good job as far as adaptations go.

and ditto what andy said. the simpsons version is awesome.
Shea said...
Yeah... from what people have told me this is a really good adaptation actually. Check it out and let us know fo sho!
Let us know what you think once you see the film Martha! I've never read the book or seen the movie, but heard the book was amazing. I've always avoided seeing any film adaptation for fear of ruining the story since I probably won't ever read the book, but if this is truly an adequate adaptation it shall grace my "qway-qway".
Ever since reading the book in high school, it's been one of my all time favourites. I re-read it every few years. Definately a classic. I don't think I've seen the original movie version but like Josh I wastched the 90s version. I remember being so excited when it came out. Then I watched it. Take Josh's recommendation and skip it altogether. This version though sounds promising. I'll add it to my rental list!

Shea you should definately read the book.
You can watch the Simspons take on the story here:

Shea said...
yeah... is it weird to not be able to read th ebook if you have already seen the movie. That is how I feel...ha.