Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Quest For Fire (1981)

Dir: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Fox Movie Channel

I have always been fascinated by films and filmmakers that could create story without the use of dialog. Dassin's Rififi and Svankmajer's Conspirators of Pleasure come to mind as two of the best examples. This film certainly would fall into this category as their is no spoken dialog that is recognizable. In case you're unaware of this one, it's about a clan of cavemen that lose their fire to another more primitive looking clan and then must send three of their own on a, you guessed it, QUEST FOR FIRE! Everett McGill (Big Ed from Twin Peaks!) and Ron Perlman star as two of the neanderthals that must avoid saber-tooth tigers, fight other cro-mags, and tame woolly mammoths on their journey for precious flame. Where the other films succeed is in their ability to tell a gripping story and create tension without the need for words at all. Quest for Fire's story is so easy to follow, that aspect of the film is not all that interesting. The more interesting thing is that novelist Anthony Burgess was brought in to create the cavemen's grunts. It's certainly not a bad movie but at some points can't help but feel like an overly long gimmick.


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