Dir: Peter Brook | Drama | 99min | UK
Peter Brook, who is still alive at 92, has had a brilliant career in film and theatre adapting literature to the stage and big screen as here with William Golding’s 1954 novel about a gang of English schoolboys who are stranded on a desert island after a nuclear holocaust. Shot in resplendent black and white, Brook’s cinema vérité metaphor for Darwin’s theory of selection is enjoyable and beautiful to watch with as the boys enjoy their new-found freedom to explore captured by Hollyman’s striking black and white cinemawork. But soon their playfulness deteriorates into class warfare as the public school boys learn to hunt, subjugating their rivals into virtual slaves until the devastating finale sorts the savages from the gentlemen.
From the cast of newcomers Edward’s tragic Piggy and Aubrey’s Ralph do really well in convincing us of their trials and challenges in the wild in a film that sometimes moves, but also deeply disturbs, its more brutal elements highlighted by Raymond Leppard’s haunting score. MT
OUT ON CRITERION BLURAY BY CRITERION UK | 28 AUGUST 2017