Monday, May 19, 2008

Roar: The Movie...

If you haven't experienced this mad feline orgy, please run to your Netflix cue at once. There's really nothing else like it in film history... I guess you could roughly say it's paper-thin, warm-hearted, 70's Disney-style family dross, crossed with the unhinged chaos of Dusan Makavejev's "free cinema."

Roar apparently took eleven grueling, accident-prone years to make. Everyone involved was scarred or mauled in some way, including the young Melanie Griffith, along for the ride with her mother Tippi Hedron, wife of the madman behind this inspired mayhem: Noel Marshall. Humans, lions, tigers, tigons, ligers, leopards, pumas, and jaguars were swept away by collapsing sets, raging rivers, and deadly diseases. Watching the film, you know that life behind the scenes was a massive experiment in human-animal relations and precisely how much blood one can loose before being rendered incapable of focusing a camera.

At some level, I am wildly attracted to visionary acts of focused madness. Toss in some dangerous animals, a dopey family exposed to the Will of Nature, a couple of movie cameras, and basically, I'm a flame thrower in a fireworks factory. Seriously, this is a crazy film. Noel Marshall, if you're still with us, please do drop me a line.

(Photo: A star of Roar at the Tippi Hedron household)

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