Monday, August 3, 2015

Cinema Cycle - Out Of Africa

(Cardio Workout And Reviewing Movies At The Same Time)


DATE VIEWED: 08/02/2015

FORMAT: LaserDisc

TIME RIDDEN / FILM LENGTH: 2 hours 42 minutes



SYNOPSIS: A Danish woman marries and moves to Africa to farm coffee with her husband.  She questions her life and her relationships as the beauty of Africa fades around them.

CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: Pretty much everything that makes up the human experience.  Love, honor, betrayal, friendship, beauty, loss, redemption, and the things that drive men and women apart and also those things that bring them together.

PROS AND CONS: I can’t recall how many times I have seen this film.  Probably at least three times prior to this viewing.  With each successive showing it just gets better and better.  The first viewing sucked me in with the the lavish production, sweeping score and fascinating glimpse into a world long gone.  

What struck me most this viewing was the complex relationship between Finch-Hatten (Redford) and Blixen (Streep) and the dialog that they shared which explored the core desires that men and women have and how they differ.  In the end they both understood one another so well, that it makes the final scenes of the film all that more touching.  

The film is a european version of a western, but in this case, instead of homesteading in Oklahoma and fighting off savage indians, the Europeans wandered off to far away imperial colonies where they worked with the natives instead of slaughtering them.  What makes the film so exceptional, is that it shows the fantasy of two people, deeply in love set against a world that is essentially an Eden that is all theirs, which slowly fades away.  Only it isn’t a fantasy.  This stuff actually happened.

For those that have never scratched the surface of this film, it is a true story that is the precursor to many other famous works.  Karen Blixen went on to be a published author and the character of Felicity in the film is actually supposed to represent Beryl Markham, who was the first person to fly solo across the atlantic from east to west.  Markham documented this famous adventure and her time in Africa in the book “West with the Night”.

All in all, a fascinating cast of people, set in a golden time that is also gone with the wind.  

To read an overview of this project, check out the initial post for this series.

This film is a part of my LaserDisc Collection.

Clicking on the title will take you to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) entry for this film. 

This film was viewed while exercising on my recumbent cycle.  A summary of my time spent working out on my journey through movie-land can be found on

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