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Gandahar is a utopian world of rare beauty and tranquility, the result of extensive mutation and genetic experimentation. But the perfect peace is shattered when a mysterious evil force invades this idyllic serenity, turning people into stone with petrifying rays. The Council of Women hold court and decide to send Sylvain, son of Queen Ambisextra, on a mission to destroy the enemy. Together with the beautiful and adventurous Arielle, the enemy that Sylvain eventually discovers very far from his home is the ultimate failure of Gandaharian scientific experimentation. It is a giant brain known as the Metamorphis, which has created an indestructible army of metal men to destroy Gandahar. Sylvain must battle the Metamorphis, but not until 1000 years in the future. Written by
Version watched: Gandahar - with English subtitles.
I have a suspicion that most of the people who regard this film with such high esteem first saw it when they were kids and watch it now in a glow of happy nostalgia. Coming to it for the first time as a middle-aged man this film is a clumsily animated, ponderously slow, soporific bore; the much lauded 'truly alien' landscapes and animals are disappointingly dull compared with the lurid and fertile illustrations that filled the pages of the SF magazines I grew up reading in the Sixties and Seventies, and the story is very clichéd and thin. Which is a pity, because I came to Gandahar with fond childhood memories of René Laloux's 1967 film La planète sauvage and was hoping for some real screen magic.
I always try to learn something from every film I watch, this time I think I learnt that maybe sometimes the memory of a film is more vital, interesting and real than the film itself. I very much doubt if this is a new idea but I'm not going to put it to the test. I haven't seen La planète sauvage for many many years and having seen this I doubt if I ever will again, just in case I destroy the fond memories I have of it.
I also learnt that if you read really really fast you can watch subtitled films on fast forward and not miss a sodding thing.
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