Date: 27 February 2014
Title: Lord of the Flies
Director: Peter Brook based on a novel by William Golding
Language: English (French Subtitles)
Duration: 90 minutes
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Mouawad Museum (Beirut, Lebanon)
Link to IMDB: Click Here
Trailer from Tous Le Cine: Click Here
Another Trailer from the Criterion Collection: Click Here
Museum of Modern Art: Click Here
Official Home Page of the film: Click Here
New York Times (Review of the original 1963 edition): Click Here
New York Times (Review of the 1990 Colored Remake): Click Here
Roger Ebert: Click Here
Synopsis: (Copied verbatim from John Fortgang: Click Here)
Lord of the Flies is a 1963 British film adaptation of William Golding's novel of the same name. It was directed by Peter Brook and produced by Lewis M. Allen. The film was in production for much of 1961 though the film was not released until 1963. Golding himself supported the film. When Kenneth Tynan was a script editor for Ealing Studios he commissioned a script of Lord of the Flies from Nigel Kneale, but Ealing Studios closed in 1959 before it could be produced.
Though William Golding's novel was staple on school reading lists for 30 years, Brook's adaptation was given an 'X' certificate on its first release in 1963. Shot on a shoestring using a non-professional cast and crew, Peter Brook's film remains true to Golding's bleak conception of human nature; although not without its failings, it's a provocative attempt to lay bare the atavistic impulses that underscore civilised society.
Dispensing with any specific background information, the film opens with a montage sequence depicting the outbreak of some otherwise undescribed war. Thirty schoolboys crash-land on a deserted tropical island during their evacuation from Britain and almost immediately revert to tribalism.
As one might expect from Golding, a writer with an enduring interest in Jung, Freud and the power of the symbol, the three principal characters are, to a certain extent, archetypes. Bespectacled and asthmatic Piggy (Edwards) is decent but vulnerable and represents the established social order. Rational and dignified, Ralph (Aubrey) is the ghost of democracy. But it's posho public school choirboy Jack (Chapin) and his gang of brutal followers who dominate, swiftly establishing a tribal hierarchy, founding a religion based around the corpse of a dead airman and eventually murdering Piggy.
It's shot with documentary-style simplicity and despite the inexperience of the crew there are some striking images. The sight of Jack in silhouette, smeared in war paint while the choirboys celebrate a kill beneath him is highly effective and goes some way to recreating the power of Golding's prose. At other times, however, Brook's over-literal approach deadens the novel's ironies and there's no denying that some of the kids' performances are distractingly inept.
Along with 'Animal Farm', 'Lord Of The Flies' is one of the principal allegories of the 20th century. Brook's adaptation fails to recreate the novel's subtlety or delight in myth but it does make its point pretty forcefully and the result, like Ralph's single (and reputedly genuine) tears in the final frame, is memorably unsettling.
Peter Brook: (From Wikipedia: Click Here)
Brook was born in London in March 1925. He was educated at Westminster School, Gresham's School and Magdalen College, Oxford. He directed Dr Faustus, his first production, in 1943 at the Torch Theatre in London, followed at the Chanticleer Theatre in 1945 with a revival of The Infernal Machine. In 1947, he went to Stratford-upon-Avon as assistant director on Romeo and Juliet and Love's Labour's Lost. From 1947 to 1950, he was Director of Productions at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. His work there included a highly controversial staging of Strauss’ Salome with sets by Salvador Dalí and also an effective re-staging of Puccini’s La Boheme using sets dating from 1899. A proliferation of stage and screen work as producer and director followed.
In 1951, Brook married the actress Natasha Parry; the couple have a son and a daughter.
In 1970, with Micheline Rozan, Brook founded the International Centre for Theatre Research, a multinational company of actors, dancers, musicians and others which travelled widely in the Middle East and Africa in the early 1970s. It is now based in Paris at the Bouffes du Nord theatre. In 2008 he made the decision to resign as artistic director of Bouffes du Nord, handing over to Olivier Mantei and Olivier Poubelle in 2008.
Brook was influenced by the work of Antonin Artaud and his ideas for his Theatre of Cruelty.[citation needed. In England, Peter Brook and Charles Marowitz undertook The Theatre of Cruelty Season (1964) at the Royal Shakespeare Company, aiming to explore ways in which Artaud's ideas could be used to find new forms of expression and retrain the performer. The result was a showing of 'works in progress' made up of improvisations and sketches, one of which was the premier of Artaud's The Spurt of Blood.
His major influence, however, was Joan Littlewood. Brook described her as "the most galvanising director in mid-20th century Britain".
Brook's work is also inspired by the theories of experimental theatre of Jerzy Grotowski, Bertolt Brecht, Chris Covics and Vsevolod Meyerhold and by the works of G. I. Gurdjieff, Edward Gordon Craig and Matila Ghyka.
Interestingly, Peter Brook came to Lebanon in 1974 to plan for a major production for Baalbek 1975. The rest is history.