Sunday, October 28, 2007

Macho Mythology (with Banjos)

When Deliverance (Deluxe Edition,Warner, $19.97, 107 minutes) first appeared in 1972 it was somewhat disparaged by the film nitcrits of the day, who found it pretentious, overreaching, and tarted up with macho posturing that was supposed to convey something deep about the psyche of the American Male and the basic survival of the fittest, a movie not up to the inspired level of director John Boorman’s similarly themed 1967 Point Blank. Yet it struck a chord with audiences, and it’s strange oil and water mix of natural born ham Burt Reynolds and method man Jon Voight still clicks today, and their backwoods odyssey (alongside the cardboard cutout characters well played by Ronny Cox and Ned Beatty), the great Vilmos Zsigmond’s awe inspiring cinematography, and the unforgettable sound of those good ole dueling banjos, make Deliverance an intriguing sample of 70’s zeitgeist. The DVD’s extras aren’t all that special: a making-of, recent interviews with the principles, and a Boorman commentary that’s recycles some familiar tales

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