Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
Quest for Fire
A colossal adventure odyssey that turns back the hands of time to the very beginning of man's existence. 80,000 years ago, when man roamed the earth, he was exposed to the many harsh elements of nature. Against the perilous atmosphere of rugged terrain, rival tribes and savage beasts, Quest for Fire examines a peaceful tribe's search for that all important element fire, and the knowledge to create it. Focusing on human dream as well as realistic insights into pre-historic man, the constant struggle for survival is vividly recreated in this sensational production.
Jean-Jacques Annaud’s Quest for Fire is an epic adventure yarn set 80,000 years in the past when humanity was in its infancy and still divided between different evolutionary tribes. When one such primal tribe is attacked their source of fire is destroyed which leads three of their men to set out on a journey to find a new source. As the film’s opening explains, fire is both a symbol of power and survival with their quest becoming a metaphor for man’s progress and indomitable spirit.
It is a film that requires a suspension of disbelief as a group of actors caked in prosthetic makeup grunt their way across the inhospitable landscape. The costumes and special effects are rather inconsistent and…
Remember when you were little, and could lose yourself in a movie? Just be eaten whole by a fictional world? I barely do, and truth be told, I can't say I've missed it much, since engaging with a work critically can be just as breathtaking in its own way. But last night I found myself back there again, like a kid, gawking at the screen.
I was stunned by how strongly La guerre du feu affected me, especially in the first ten minutes or so; an overwhelming sequence where a tribe of early humans are attacked and massacred by apelike aggressors (and wolves!). The film has plenty of such set-pieces, impressive in spite of their reliance on simple practical effects…
It was neat to see Ron Perlman and Rae Dawn Chong (by the way, whatever happened to her?) towards the beginning of their careers. According to IMDB, this was Perlman's first movie and it doesn't show. He gives just as strong a performance here as he has in any movie since.
I was amazed to see just how much story can be told without words. The characters were rather complex and unique while staying true to being cavemen. The movie runs the gamut of emotions. There are moments of suspense followed by humor that leads straight into sorrow. All of the actors are great and pull you into the film. Looking at the director's filmography, I have only seen two other films by him and that is an oversight I will be sure to correct.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Quest for Fire is the only realistic film about cavemen I've seen in my life.
And it probably is the only one out there, because it's a hard theme to portray in the art of film.
This one does a good job doing that. It has no dialogue at all (necessary for this theme), but it succeeds in transmiting emotion through images and music.
The actors did a great job and the setting and cinematography were amazing.
It's a good movie. But, be aware that it's more educational than it is entertaining.
I somehow love this, it's crudely poetic. Mammoth muppets ftw.
I cannot possibly stress how original and groundbreaking this film was. The simple fact that it takes place 80,000 years ago (I tried SO hard to find literally any other movie that occurs within 20,000 years of that timeframe) should tell you how different this is from any other caveman flick ever made. The camera work is masterful, the symbolism plentiful and the costumes wonderful. This is a terrific film and I urge you to watch it multiple times.
Incredibly strange but definitely worth a watch.
A story of hope and discovery with no words but a lot grunting.
A 1981 film, based on a 1911 Belgian novel, about paleolithic man. 80,000 years ago, during the last glacial period, everybody wanted fire but didn't know how to make it yet. Jean-Jacques Annaud, who's made a handful of historical dramas in the last few decades, directs this adventure film -- wickedly weird, hella-interesting, but ultimately too smooth.
The anthropology (the awkward pull there must have been between contemporary 1981 knowledge and the source's 1911 knowledge: wow!) is okay as far as I can tell, but a story about primitive and barely-speaking humans is such a shocking proposition that all expectations probably instantly disappear.
There are three Homo species here, and three tribes that best illustrate them: Homo erectus, the most…
"Het zijn onvergetelijke beelden uit een onvergetelijke film. Met prima acteerwerk, passende score en advies van niemand minder dan Desmond Morris (‘The Naked Ape’) en Anthony Burgess. Kortom, wie dit meesterwerk niet weet te waarderen zal altijd een oermens op sokken blijven. Grumpf!"
This is a wordless story about a prehistoric tribe that loses a long-kept fire due to an attack of another tribe. Three of their best males will go to get a new one. During this quest, they will discover some new species and dangers, help out a stranger and learn more about fire and relationship-deepening. Apart from some silly animal-makepus, the movie is very strong visually with great cinematography and wide landscape shots. And I like that there are no excuses to the prehistoric wardrobe and nakedness.
The role Ron Pearlman was meant to play! I want to see the 6 hour director's cut. More please. The mammoths looked so much better than the one in the Ice Age movies.
I really wasn't expecting a film with no language, or understandable language anyway, to be so poignant. Which goes to show how much we communicate with our eyes, movements and gestures. Quest for Fire not only boasts supreme storytelling but also great characterisation. I was particularly fond of Ron Perlman, Nicholas Kadi and Rae Dawn Chong. The latter spending the entire movie in the nude and managing to make that not her defining character trait.
Fire has been an essential tool for man since the dawn of time. Everything we owe, we owe to fire and finding it, during those times was literally an adventure. This is what french director Jean-Jacques Annaud. Creating a boyhood fantasy, Annaud just doesn't give us a great history lesson, but also a fun adventure flick in the realm of STAR WARS or INDIANA JONES.
I loved QUEST FOR FIRE, not just for the adventure factor, but what he has created a whole new look. Instead of getting well known actors, Annaud got more elaborate actors from the stage and taught them to walk and talk like cavemen. The make-up effects are astonishing, such little detail but enormously effective. Also…
Interesting movie with almost no dialogue (like many of Jean-Jacques Annaud's films). I like watching his films and the idea of telling a story without words.
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
- The Act of Killing
- The Ascent
- The White Meadows
- The Master
- The Music Room
- Quest for Fire
- Quay of the Goldsmiths
- Quick Change
- The Quiet American
Each week I'll post a new letter and all you have to do is nominate a film that you think…