Tuesday, 31 March 2009

"Is God in showbusiness too?"

Many thanks to Infinite Thought for linking to Fredric Jameson's (1974) article about Zardoz. Jameson's initial "literary" analysis of Zardoz, as a variation on the Enlightenment critique of religious mystification, might be supplemented by the suggestion that, less a "fable" as Jameson would have it, Boorman's film is a critique of religion which nonetheless takes the form of a religious foundation myth (c.f. Freud's Moses and Monotheism). Sean Connery's Zed first receives his awakening from the pages of a book (albeit Frank Baum's Wizard of Oz and not the holy books and religious scriptures of the Abrahamic religions) handed to him by God-the-Father ("I bred you. I led you."), this then leads him to kill this God-the-Father figure, before, ultimately, leading his people ("the chosen ones") to the promised land of the Vortex, a place of Edenic rural serenity, with the final assault of the 'brutals' against the Vortex dwellers a kind of return of the repressed on the part of this particular Utopia's own structural outside.