[D-G] Friday and the other island

Sylvie Ruelle sylvieruelle at earthlink.net
Mon Dec 13 02:22:00 PST 2004



"French writer, who gained fame at the age of forty-three with his  
first novel, VENDREDI, OU LES LIMBES DU PASIFIQUE (1967, Friday), an  
ingenious reworking of the classic Robinson Crusoe theme. Tournier's  
parodic and sometimes disturbing works can be read as comments upon the  
contemporary world, but are often based on old myths and stories.
  "Je suis le peintre de la profondeur, et la profondeur d'un être  
transparaît sur son visage, dès que cesse l'agitation de la vie  
triviale, comme le fond rocheux de la mer, avec ses algues vertes et  
ses poissons d'or, apparaît aux yeux du voyageur quand cesse le  
médiocre clapotis provoque à la surface par les rameurs ou une brise  
capricieuse." (from La goulette d'or, 1986)"

for the rest of this article abpve:  

On Dec 13, 2004, at 2:09 AM, Sylvie Ruelle wrote:

> http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074849/
> In terms of "savage, barbarians, civilized man": this film was  
> suggested to me from this group
> I am unable to identify a link with Foucault's three same terms above,
> nor with Deleuze.
> The story however makes one wonder.
> Very pythonesque, 28 July 2004
> Author: edd ward (ejwward at yahoo.co.uk) from london
>  "A satellite view of the earth is the first camera shot of this film  
> then it plunges down to the island on which Crusoe (O'Toole) is  
> stranded.A quick and direct start to a film. Every now and again I  
> expected John Cleese to be playing a piano on the beach.There is a  
> scene when the two characters are on a podium after racing, it's  
> straight out of Monty Python. There is definitely something about this  
> film even though there are some cringe worthy singing scenes that, I  
> think are a little ludicrous.It delves into religion, class,education,  
> race, the idea of money and the general cultural relativism that  
> exists between the proverbial "savage" and "civilized" man. Although  
> people have said that Crusoe is the fool in this version, I do tend to  
> see some sense in the things he does, like the need for money in order  
> to keep a work ethic and a civilized notion of transaction of  
> possessions.However his religious spin on everything is a little  
> monotonous and self deceiving. He is put into context of his origin  
> when some Brithish missionaries arrive on the island.He is actually  
> not that bad a fellow at all.
> Friday (Rountree)is a bit of a hippy in this really and overly  
> idealistic.
> Some where in the middle of the two characters is the sort of person  
> you could live on a desert island with!
> I thought Crusoe's shooting himself was a wonderfully dark ending.
> Man Overboard!, 4 August 2003
> Author: col_rutherford from Victoria, Canada
>  This is one of those films with an intriguing concept that is ruined  
> by poor execution. "Man Friday" is a revisionist take on the classic  
> novel "Robinson Crusoe" told from the point of view of the castaway  
> Englishman Crusoe's (Peter O'Toole) native companion/servant Friday  
> (Richard Roundtree). Adapted from a stage play, this is basically a  
> two-hander carried by O'Toole and Roundtree's performances. The duo's  
> evolving relationship is obviously a metaphor for racism, slavery,  
> colonialism, and capitalism. That part of the film works well, with  
> Crusoe's more "civilized" Christian and English ways revealed as  
> irrational and unnatural. The problem is that the filmmakers add all  
> sorts of other nonsense, perhaps to broaden the film's appeal. Friday  
> often breaks into his "native" songs, but he sings the lyrics in  
> English and the music sounds too contemporary. There is a comical  
> talking parrot. Worst of all is a sequence where Crusoe and Friday try  
> to escape from the island by inventing all sorts of silly flying  
> machines, with accompanying sound effects borrowed from an old  
> "Roadrunner" cartoon. There are also some plotting problems. Crusoe is  
> not properly introduced and Friday goes from being terrified of Crusoe  
> to amiably calling him "master" way too quickly. Since director Jack  
> Gold can't decide if this is a serious drama or a  
> musical-comedy-adventure, it doesn't succeed as either.
> 4 out of 10.
>  Interesting though overlong subversion of the Daniel Defoe novel., 7  
> July 2003
> Author: Jonathon Dabell (barnabyrudge at hotmail.com) from Wakefield,  
> England
>  Robinson Crusoe is an extremely important work of literature, being  
> one of the very earliest novels ever written in the accepted "novel"  
> form. However, it is also extraordinarily racist. To understand its  
> racism, one has to consider the attitudes that prevailed at the time  
> when the book was published. Were it written nowadays, it would  
> probably be banned. Within its historical context, though, it is  
> rightly hailed as a classic. The makers of this film have realised  
> that there is a strong case to revise this essentially racist book,  
> and have made encouragingly open-minded and thoughtful attempts to  
> re-do the story for a multi-cultural audience.
> Man Friday is a reasonably engrossing story of how Crusoe, shipwrecked  
> for years on a barren desert island, befriends a savage and names him  
> "Friday". As time goes by, Crusoe attempts to change Friday into a  
> good, decent Christian, but is shown to be more irrational and  
> ignorant than the supposed savage. In the end, Friday proves himself  
> to have a far more wise, perceptive and knowledgable personality than  
> Crusoe.
> The film is hindered by a few mis-judgements. There was no need for  
> the handful of songs that have somehow made it into the script. If  
> those misplaced bouts of singing were removed, the end product would  
> doubtless have been better. Also, the pacing is a bit erratic, and  
> much time seems to be meaninglessly wasted over the course of the 115  
> minute duration. The point could've been made efficiently in 90  
> minutes, and audiences might have felt the moral of the story more  
> sharply. However, all in all, this is a worthy film, well acted and  
> thought-provoking throughout, and significant for its recognition that  
> the source material needed to be revised.
> 2003
> Author: Minerva Breanne Meybridge (minerva at thursdayschild.org) from  
> Santa Monica, California
>  I have not seen this in a long while, and it has not been released on  
> VHS or DVD, but I remember it as in intelligent spoof of Robinson  
> Crusoe. It is the same old story we all know, but it is told from the  
> perspective of Friday, who, if I recall correctly, narrates the tale  
> like a hip soul brother from the 1970's replete with a Jamaican  
> accent.
> "Broter, lemme tell ya, iss da story o dis dumb wite mon, who doan  
> know his ahs from a coconut grove."
> That's not exactly what he said, but it is the gist of how things are  
> told. Friday, Richard Roundtree, who had just finished three movies  
> and one television series as Shaft, is a wealth of oneupsmanship over  
> the not too bright Crusoe, played superbly by Peter O'Toole.
> This is a must watch and a keeper. Write ABC Entertainment. Tell them  
> to get it out on DVD. I think that one of the problems with this film  
> is that AVCO Embassy Pictures, which produced it with ABC, went out of  
> business years ago.
> A choice film.
>  Might is not always right, 8 April 2001
> Author:  (lora5588 at hotmail.com) from Canada
>  I missed the start of this film on tv but managed to tune in to the  
> story's events which appear to carry a strong social message based on  
> prevalent ideas, prejudices and conflicts among people. It brings to  
> mind the movie, Hawaii, in which the white man's ways and beliefs were  
> supposed to transform the local inhabitants but as it turned out, the  
> well-meaning visitors had much to learn from the island people's  
> customs and beliefs. In a way it's a lesson for us all that we should  
> respect cultural differences, customs and values. As the saying goes,  
> There are many roads that lead to Rome. The episode of trying to  
> spread their inventive wings and fly was great fun to watch and  
> O'Toole's furry feet were a hilarious footnote to the scene. I regret  
> some of the violence enacted but then those days were not always  
> pleasant times. A happier ending would have been nice. On the other  
> hand this film makes you stop and think. One can observe the conflict  
> of intellect versus soul wisdom being played out. It's a film well  
> worth seeing."
> Ms. Sylvie Ruelle
> http://home.earthlink.net/~sylvieruelle
> rw_artette_lc at yahoo.com
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Ms. Sylvie Ruelle
rw_artette_lc at yahoo.com

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