Deliverance Screen 6 articles

Deliverance

1972

Deliverance Poster
  • The rapids are sculptured with a swift camera on the zigzagging canoes, by contrast the encounter with the mountain men (Bill McKinney, Herbert "Cowboy" Coward) and the ensuing violation seem to unfold in slow-motion. . . . Survival is the aftermath, so grins the agonizing warrior to his milquetoast friend: "Now you get to play the game." The forest has its baleful spirits, Boorman marvels at them with complex setups in extended takes, a marvel of allegory enlarged by the immediacy of form.

  • McKinney clearly felt a responsibility towards Ned the actor, and yet he, the character, was fully in the moment of hurting Beatty’s character. This is the magic-trick of good actors, this is the thing that actors say over and over again (“I was in two places at the same time”), and that duality of mind never ceases to fascinate me. Being able to be an actor and a character at the same time. You never TOTALLY lose yourself. On some level, you are still orchestrating the whole thing.

  • John Boorman's Deliverance is a seminal picture that plays just as jolting, powerful and oddly beautiful today. Released in 1972, the movie was a shocker, not solely for the infamous rape scene that's haunted men and women for decades, but for its bold choice of layering its story with such darkness and soul wrenching detail.

  • Boorman’s fifth feature keeps its thesis statement about the inadequacy of so-called “civilization” out in front at all times, but not in a way that badgers the audience. Rather, he presents the quartet’s fatal hubris as an assumed truth, thus allowing him to pull off a kind of storytelling miracle in plain sight: Despite the fact that the narrative spans several weeks, possibly months, it all feels like it’s happening in real time, even in slow motion.

  • There is a certain sense of haunting and oppressive fear even during the adventure, but always of a sexual nature that many men might feel uncomfortable with, but are certainly curious about. Four men paddle their way down a river so wild, it taps into their most primal excitement, hurtling through the frenetic bends and turns of the river.

  • The group's trip down the river becomes an odyssey through a land that is already dead, killed by civilisation and peopled by alien creatures rather than human beings. Signposted by the extraordinary shot of a corpse, surfaced from the water with one arm grotesquely wrapped round its neck and the other pointing nowhere, it's a haunting, nightmarish vision.

More Links