"Salvation": The Nature of the Nightmare

“Salvation”: The Nature of the Nightmare

A Posterior Le Cinema Series 7 . is an occasion to celebrateI Art by revisiting major titles celebrating important anniversaries.

In 1972, just three years after the Woodstock festival, the hippie movement and its proverbial return to the land were still very prevalent. Little by little, everywhere, we raised the slogans “Love, not war” and “Love”. flower Power , “. Hence, partly, the blow produced by the film Freedom ,issue, issue), released on 30 July of the same year. Indeed, in this tale of four townspeople who, not far from a canoe trip, leave spotless, nature is anything but delightful. fifty years later, Freedom None of its awesome power is lost.

The protagonists are named Lewis, Ed, Bobby and Drew, and they are businessmen from Atlanta. Two of them would be injured, a third would be injured at the hands of the climbers and a fourth would perish.

The film is based on a novel by James Dickey, then known and celebrated as a poet, who wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation. A huge success when it was published in 1970, the book testifies to the author’s evocative power:

“Nature manifested in silence. I told myself it was time to be scared, and the fear came immediately. What struck me most was the spectacular impersonality of the landscape; I can’t believe it would make me feel so sudden.” , or can kill with so much force. This silence and this noise of silence had nothing to do with us”, can we read about precisely the nature that the protagonists wrongly believe they can dominate .

autobiographical origin

The core of the novel is said to be autobiographical. The larger than life – no pun intended – character, James Dickey, had an adventurous side and created such odysseys by canoe. in a 2012 article men’s magazineDoug Woodward, who was the technical consultant for the canoe scenes as well as the stuntman for some of the scenes, recalls an evening in the company of James Dickey and some of the latter’s friends in these words:

“Dickie was an impressive figure, and his presence filled the room. But it was more than physical. A mysterious aura surrounded him—hidden, perhaps sinister things—that he loved to cherish. References to canoe travel.” that he and [Lewis] King worked with another close friend, Al Braselton, years ago. ,

impressions and memories, which in part inspired the novel Freedom,

“Dickie did not describe the details of this trip,” Woodward continues. With a familiar smile, he simply said, “There is more truth to the story. [de Deliverance] than you think.” “

This canoe expedition took place on the Kosawati River in northwest Georgia:

“With the truth now imaginary, Kosavatti was being dammed up and the valley behind it would gradually fill over the next two years, washing away all traces of the history of life that was once bound by the river. Were. “

Co-guest and former crew member Lewis King later revealed more to Doug Woodward.

“What we regard as the facts of this river journey has now vanished in the mist of time… [King] pointed out: “You might think that southern Appalachia is wild now, but in the 1930s and 1940s this country was actually wild. A man who was considered a threat to the mountain people could disappear forever , ”he said. “Murder was always a viable option, as some outsiders pored around these forests in search of the missing person.” »

For account, it is the sudden idea of ​​a dam, and hence the Taming, a river that most appealed to John Boorman (Excalibur) – far more than the hero’s audacity. Then a young English filmmaker living in Hollywood, Boorman set his eyes on the novel when a friend recommended it to him. In a documentary about the making of the film, the director explains:

“My interest may diverge from Dickie’s. Dickey belongs to this Southern tradition of existentialism; the American man forced to survive in the wild. To me, the fact is that the river [de l’histoire] was about to be destroyed, a splendid symbol of man’s efforts to conquer nature. ,

busy production

Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty and Ronnie Cox were cast in the lead roles. Between recklessness, recklessness and arrogance, respectively, Ed, Lewis, Bobby and Drew are launched into the heart of darkness without their knowledge.

Filmed in Georgia, the film experienced a production, such as the river that inspired Borman so much, Busy. Drunk, James Dickey burst onto the set one day and, angry that John Boorman had rewritten his dialogues, he broke his nose. Even after this the two men became close friends.

Warner Bros. was allocated a budget of $2 million, a small amount considering that the shooting was done Besides, far from the studio and Los Angeles. So we started reducing production cost. For example, the actor not only agreed to perform most of his stunts, but also to proceed without insurance: Burt Reynolds nearly broke his skull and Jon Voight climbed a steep wall during a memorable scene. risked his life for

Speaking of memorable scenes: Now it’s impossible not to mention the classic “banjo duel,” when Drew initiates a quick duet with a local teenager, or the painful scene of Bobby’s rape, causing an uproar along the way. , The infamous line of the attacker” howling like a pig , , [« Couine comme un porc ! »] According to Borman, the correction was made at the suggestion of an assistant.

in an interview Guardian In 2015, the filmmaker appointed Freedom As his favorite film among them all, which he regarded as “perfectly composed, without a plan that was not justified”.

In the race for the Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Editing, Freedom It was a huge popular success and received widespread critical acclaim. In New YorkerPauline Kell summed up the film’s singular effect best: Freedom Keeps the audience hooked in its cumulative, frightening and engaging way. The film displays the formality of a nightmare. ,

movie Freedom Available in VOD on most platforms.

to see in the video

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