Saturday, July 30, 2011

Great Movies of Summer: Deliverance [1972]

“This is about the last wild, untamed, unpolluted, unfucked-up river in the South”.... and...”We’re gonna rape this whole landscape…” Such is the conversation that opens up this story of nature, in the form of some uncivilized hillbillies and a rough body of water, taking vengeance on 4 representatives of late 20th century bourgeois greed and presumptuousness. While the one who gets knocked off is the most sensitive & cultured of them, the guitar playing Ronny Cox, and the one decommissioned is the seemingly best equipped, the macho Burt Reynolds, the one we identify with is the Jon Voigt character who overcomes his ambivalence to his scary, primitive human instinct for survival.  What makes it a summer movie, is the sound of cicadas and birds in the gnat-filled air surrounding the river on which these guys take their ill-fated canoe trip. The camping in tents and the rubber vest Burt Reynolds wears.  Also, I first saw this movie by myself, late at night, in the dark, on an old fuzzy TV, from the made-up cot on the sun-porch of a house at the shore in Margate, NJ. …. in the summer.  

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