Tank: “Bubbles” Magazine Launch, London.

Wednesday February 10th 2016 by Peter Thomas Lang


The Big Bubbly. Living Life in the Bubble. Peter Lang

“Among frenzied chants and scenes of naked savagery John Boorman’s film Zardoz ploughs headfirst into the dark world of utopian fantasy. Zardoz, starring Sean Connery centers around an immense glass dome like structure separating to starkly opposing worlds one primitive, the other futuristic. Taking place some 300 years hence, on the outside is a population of Brutals,” a ragged people herded by a violent gun wielding band of “Exterminators,” and on the inside, a manored refuge for an immortal community of telepathic “Eternals,” hopelessly bored with their idyllic lives. Connery’s character, the mustachioed Zed, finds himself transported inside the transparent hemisphere aboard a massive stone figure-head that hovers across the skies. Zed’s arrival eventually destabilizes the tenuous social balance among these privileged inhabitants, and much like in the Wizard of Oz, the Frank Baum tale that inspired this one, Zed gets to go back home, but not before he has punctured the Eternal’s utopian bubble.

Besides imagining the transparent hard shell dome that envelops half the countryside, Boorman locates a number of inflatable bubbles in different scenes. The rotund shaped forms trigger something deep in our subconscious, conjuring up both a primordial past and a cybernetic future, arcadian or utopian. What intrigues us about the world of bubbles, is that their rounded forms, dynamic shapes, womblike interiors are deeply visceral conditions that can cuddle, make vulnerable, or expose us to some very primal human sensations.”