HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Furnace, The
Tyrel
Iceman
Blue Sky
Tokyo Dragon Chef
Pittsburgh
12 Hour Shift
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
   
 
Newest Articles
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
   
 
  Leo the Last Near And Far
Year: 1970
Director: John Boorman
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Billie Whitelaw, Calvin Lockhart, Glenna Forster-Jones, Vladek Sheybal, Louis Gossett Jr, Graham Crowden, Kenneth J. Warren, David De Keyser, Gwen Frangcon Davies, Ram John Holder, Doris Clark, Brinsley Forde, Patsy Smart
Genre: Drama, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Leo (Marcello Mastroianni) is the last in a line of European royalty and has arrived at his father's London mansion to recuperate. However, the area the mansion is situated in has become run down, mostly inhabited by poor black residents, and as Leo indulges in his hobby of birdwatching, pigeons in this case, he begins watching the residents in his cul-de-sac instead. All the while he is engaged to be married to the opportunistic Margaret (Billie Whitelaw) and in the thrall of his staff, specifically Laszlo (Vladek Sheybal), who is planning a revolution in Leo's home country. However, Leo's new interest in the people he sees through his telescope bring him a new outlook on life and will put him in conflict with his staff...

After the American-made Point Blank and Hell in the Pacific, director John Boorman was seen as an exciting new talent to watch, but typically as a man who goes his own way regardless of how commercial his projects may or may not be, his British follow-up Leo the Last was a complete failure, and watching it it's not difficult to see why. A chaotic examination of class, it starts out like some kind of arthouse Rear Window, with Mastroianni (who is quite charming under the circumstances) watching the world go by from his bedroom, but for a man who has always been told what to do and has never thought much about the world beyond his limited experience, he's about to get a rude awakening.

He doesn't exactly see the whole panoply of human life, and at first he doesn't see much difference between those he does see and his pigeons flying past. But characters do emerge after a while: the pimp, the prostitute, the pawnbroker, the black and the white, the old and the young. Leo is quite taken with Roscoe (Calvin Lockhart) who at one stage kidnaps one of the pigeons from the rooftop, prompting Leo to leave his house and follow Roscoe and girlfriend Salambo (Glenna Forster-Jones) to the local grocery store to witness their successful attempt to steal a frozen turkey to eat by releasing the pigeon in the shop.

Leo's problem is that he feels closest to those he spies on and distant from those he is living his life with, so he goes through the motions of decadent parties and exercise regimes (which we see thanks to a bizarre swimming pool full of naked people working out under the instruction of Leo's doctor) without feeling much but unhappiness and dislocation. For some reason Boorman sees fit to "explain" his themes of alienation with voiceovers and the sadly unimpressive music of Fred Myrow and Ram John Holder (who also appears as a preacher), only serving to make things even more obscure, and the hazy, dreamlike plotting doesn't help much either.

Eventually Leo puts away his telescope and starts to interact with the residents, generously giving Salambo's family a shopping trolley full of food as their unseen benefactor, but is horrified when Salambo's elderly father dies of overeating. That's not all that horrifies him as she is raped by the brutish pawnbroker (Kenneth J. Warren) on the day of the funeral, Leo watching impotently from his window and weakly calling for assistance. Then the story takes a turn towards class war as Leo's rich, white benefactors are pitted against the poor folk when he sides with the denizens of the cul-de-sac. Always threatening to be condescending, it's difficult to understand what Boorman and co-scripter Bill Stair are getting at, but the message that you may not be able to change the world but can still change yourself might be at the heart of it.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 7941 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

John Boorman  (1933 - )

British director whose work can be insufferably pretentious or completely inspired, sometimes in the space of a single film. He began his career with the BBC, before directing Dave Clark Five vehicle Catch Us If You Can. Hollywood beckoned and his Lee Marvin movies Point Blank and Hell in the Pacific won him admirers.

From then on the quality was variable: the obscure Leo the Last, the harrowing megahit Deliverance, the ridiculous Zardoz, the reviled Exorcist II, Arthurian adaptation Excalibur, The Emerald Forest, Where the Heart Is, The General and underrated spy drama The Tailor of Panama. Was once involved with an aborted attempt to film The Lord of the Rings.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: