HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dead
Death at Broadcasting House
Huracan
Ghost Strata
Call to Spy, A
Tailgate
Other Lamb, The
Every Time I Die
Lynn + Lucy
Topsy-Turvy
Honest Thief
Blood and Money
Rose: A Love Story
Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made
Om Dar-B-Dar
Silencing, The
J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of SubGenius
Dick Johnson is Dead
Two/One
Cognition
Legacy of Lies
I Am Woman
Alien Addiction
Dare, The
South Terminal
Little Monsters
Yield to the Night
My Zoe
Young Playthings
End of Summer
Times of Harvey Milk, The
Buddies
Threshold
Perfectly Normal Family, A
Ravage
Honeymoon Phase, The
One Summer
Bird Island
Variety
Devil to Pay, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
   
 
  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 7831 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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: