16/09 Blu-Ray Watches: Preparation for 'Ad Astra' this week:
- The Lost City of Z explores the density of obsessive discovery shrouded in a jungle of abandonment. Exploration. The yearning for discovery. To set foot where no man has ventured before. To excavate rarities that determine ancient civilisations. There's nothing quite like it. The addiction for reconnoitring. That overwhelming chase for glory in the ambitious overlay of cementing one's name in the history books. During my childhood, I desired to gain such credibility as an explorative scout. The inner Indiana Jones or Rick O'Connell within me, presenting film as a means of inspiration, screaming for adventure. Alas, working behind a desk will have to suffice, as Gray's portrayal of Amazonian fauna and flora proved to be devices for both the dangers of adventure and character self-destruction, in what is the most realistic depiction of exploration presented in film. Percy Fawcett, a young officer, is sent to the unknown Amazon jungle to map out the boundaries between two rivalling countries. His expedition proved fruitful, as he continually lusts to discover greater finds and prove the existence of an ancient civilisation. A jungle city covered in gold to which he describes as "the lost city of Z". First and foremost, Gray's illustrious biographical feature is a character study. Surveying a man corrupted by obsession, determination and compulsion. Selecting the option to risk his life discovering an ancient city, on multiple expeditions, as opposed to residing in England with his family fathering his newborn children. Representing the Amazon as a means of escape, Gray balances Fawcett's fanatic behaviour against his wife's abandonment with such infirmity that it instantly allows connectivity with each character. Nina's lust for her husband's safety and adventurous opportunities coincides with Percy's painful sacrifice of missing out on his children's adolescence. His unavailability scarring the mentality of his offspring, as they fail to grasp their father's longing for exploration. This isn't an outrageous adventure film where Percy is fleeing from an oncoming oversized boulder.