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Quest For Fire
February 1, 2013 10:16 PM   Subscribe

"Quest For Fire" - Not so long ago, in a valley not so far away. w/ Ron Perlman (German version; no subtitles)
posted by Ardiril (30 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
DO NOT DROP HOT.

U DROP HOT?!

OHNOES!

GO GET HOT!
posted by The otter lady at 10:25 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Such an awesome movie. I like the woolly mammoths.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:27 PM on February 1, 2013


Much better to watch this with no sound at all and some good sludge metal or stoner rock playing in the background: I recommend Bison B.C. Favourite scene is when the Squatch attack the Neanderthal camp and one of them steps on some embers and shrieks before getting a spear through his throat - purest comedy ever put on film.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot at 10:28 PM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


No mention of the invented language?
The language spoken by the Neanderthals was created by Anthony Burgess [A Clockwork Orange]. ... The gestural and body language was overseen by Desmond Morris, author of The Naked Ape.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:42 PM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


So it's Rae Dawn Chong's fault that I have 2.8% Neanderthal DNA.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:43 PM on February 1, 2013


No mention of the invented language?

What? I should risk being accused of being a pedant?
posted by Ardiril at 10:58 PM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Thanks, I never got to see this movie, and I really wanted to!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 11:55 PM on February 1, 2013


Back when I was a teenager, a dude tried to seduce me by showing me this film. (Jurassic blowjob, hey-o.) Then he talked about his alien abduction. Then he took me to the antique store where he worked – after hours, which was seriously creepy – and introduced me to his white supremacist friend, who was so big and pale he looked like the Michelin Man.

Seriously, it was longest night of my life.
posted by roger ackroyd at 11:58 PM on February 1, 2013 [14 favorites]


It's pretty fascinating to think that humans have only been around for about 400,000 years (compared to millions of years for other present-day animals), and the movie would probably have taken place just 20,000 years ago:

As an adaptation of a 1911 novel, the film's fidelity to the novel must be judged separately from its compatibility with the tenets of paleoanthropology at the time of its production.
The story of the novel takes place 80,000 years ago, during the last glacial period. The movie adheres to this date, but in the commentary accompanying the DVD release, the director Annaud stated that a much earlier date would actually have been more reasonable if he had made the film recently with modern knowledge of the subject matter.
The film, in keeping with the novel, presents three species of Homo: Homo erectus (Wagabu), Homo neanderthalensis (Ulam, Kzamm) and Homo sapiens (Ivaka). The Neanderthals are portrayed as the stereotypical cavemen, in an intermediate stage of development compared to the ape-like H. erectus on one hand, and the culturally more advanced H. sapiens on the other. According to current knowledge, Neanderthal interaction with early modern humans has taken place only significantly later than 80,000 years ago, from about 40,000 to 20,000 years ago.
The H. sapiens tribe (Ivaka) is depicted as using body ornamentation (jewellery, body paint, masks, headgear), fully developed language and simple technology such as gourds as vessels and the atlatl, features that in combination amount to full behavioral modernity characteristic of the Upper Paleolithic.
The Neanderthals are depicted as Caucasian, the Kzamm even as red-haired, in a peculiar anticipation of the result of genetic studies conducted in the 2000s[3] which concluded that some Neanderthals did indeed have red hair.[4] The H. sapiens woman Ika is depicted as wearing full body paint, and is cast with a multiracial actress, leaving her racially indistinct. This is again in keeping with studies post-dating the film which established that light skin in European descendants of Cro-Magnon developed only towards the end of the Middle Paleolithic, or during the Upper Paleolithic.[5]
Like the elements of human culture, human-Neanderthal interbreeding is likely to have happened later than the film is set. Scientists debate the extent to which H. sapiens and H. neanderthalensis ever interbred, based on continuing research, but some evidence discovered since the film's release suggests that such interbreeding did occur in Europe

posted by KokuRyu at 12:20 AM on February 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Seriously, it was longest night of my life.

Quest for Fire is great and all, but I'd much rather watch this film.
posted by R. Schlock at 12:20 AM on February 2, 2013 [10 favorites]


human-Neanderthal interbreeding is likely to have happened later than the film is set

This text is from Wikipedia without sourcing, wondering who said this and why. Sapiens left Africa 60-125,000 years ago - so interbreeding at 80,000 seems very plausible. And that date-range keeps getting pushed back older as new discoveries have been made so the 60,000 is sort of conservative worst-case, most likely on the older side.
posted by stbalbach at 1:04 AM on February 2, 2013


I adored this movie when I was kid. It always gets terrible reviews, but I remember also loving Caveman which is of the same vintage. It was sort of a goofy, comedic take on the same material, with an invented language... Plus it had stop-motion dinosaurs, and Ringo Starr! (Everything is better with stop-motion and Ringo.)

I've heard a lot of people slag on the 1980s as being a huge comedown from the auteur-driven 1970s, but I think about movies like this and Blade Runner and Videodrome and The Dark Crystal and The Thing, et al, and the 1980s were really kind of a golden age for really weird genre entertainment. Scorsese was great and all, but I'd argue that 1980s David Lynch and Cronenberg were just as great, in their own freaky way. Just because a movie has rubber monsters, that doesn't mean it can't be a masterpiece.

"It's pretty fascinating to think that humans have only been around for about 400,000 years (compared to millions of years for other present-day animals), and the movie would probably have taken place just 20,000 years ago"

It always blows my mind to think about the thousands and thousands of years of unrecorded human history. I mean, who the hell knows what happened?! Maybe there was a great civilization with technology comparable to or even superior to our own, and it all fell apart and ended up buried deep beneath the muck and mire. Maybe Battlestar Galactica was right, and cavemen bred with horny Cylons! Who knows?!?!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:16 AM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


My mom took me to see this when I was seven years old.
posted by snofoam at 2:33 AM on February 2, 2013


While watching Quest for Fire, listen to Quest for Fire.
posted by sixohsix at 4:47 AM on February 2, 2013


My dad maintains that this is the greatest stoner movie ever made.

Also, the scene where H. Erectus is attacking the encampment totally inspired the Ewok attack in Return of the Jedi.
posted by Jon_Evil at 5:57 AM on February 2, 2013


Just watched this again yesterday and was amazed at how well it held up. Two opposable thumbs up.
posted by HyperBlue at 6:41 AM on February 2, 2013


My parents took me to see this in the cinema when I was ten.

I had awesome parents.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 6:53 AM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's sort of conspicuously Ron Perlman once you know that's who it is.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 8:25 AM on February 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


My mom took me to see this when I was seven years old.

My grandmother took me to see 'Trog' when I was nine.
posted by uraniumwilly at 8:26 AM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's sort of conspicuously Ron Perlman once you know that's who it is.

Indeed, and Sons of Anarchy is pretty much Quest for Fire II.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:56 AM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah I think Ron Perlman probably spent the least amount of time in the makeup chair.
posted by ian1977 at 8:59 AM on February 2, 2013


I met Rae Dawn in 1976 when she was a big fan of the rock band I roadied for, the Sons of Champlin. When the band recorded at Caribou Ranch in Colorado, she stayed with us there. I believe she was about 17 at the time.

I was thrilled to see her a few years later in this film.
posted by Repack Rider at 9:14 AM on February 2, 2013


That trick of calming mastodons with an offering of grass? I tried it one night with a family of urban skunks and a snickers bar. It didn't work.
posted by zaelic at 9:35 AM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I remember seeing this when it came out. I was on a huge Anthony Burgess kick at the time and remember loving the fact that he designed a workable, syntactically consistent language for the film. Didn't give a shit that no one would understand it or hear anything beyond random grunts; did it anyway. Marvellous fellow. Old school.
posted by Decani at 9:46 AM on February 2, 2013


I saw this with friends when it came out and forever after we associated a pair of brothers we knew with two of the characters from the film (there was more than a passing resemblance). The things you remember... Oh, and Rae Dawn Chong in full body paint...
posted by MikeMc at 10:08 AM on February 2, 2013


Great movie. In my Top 10.
posted by wrapper at 10:46 AM on February 2, 2013


"It's pretty fascinating to think that humans have only been around for about 400,000 years and the movie would probably have taken place just 20,000 years ago"

They were very cold for a long, long time?
posted by greenhornet at 12:45 PM on February 2, 2013


[SPOILERS]

I always wondered whether whoever made the final cut of the version I saw had experienced a failure of courage there at the end when, after the main protagonists had returned with the fire, the young and newly elevated Shaman accidentally snuffs it out as he's parading back and forth with it in triumph, because at that point the movie cut away to the human woman showing them how to make fire (as I recall).

I thought that there must have been a scene where the tribe tore the young Shaman apart that they took out.
posted by jamjam at 1:05 PM on February 2, 2013


That trick of calming mastodons with an offering of grass? I tried it one night with a family of urban skunks and a snickers bar. It didn't work.

I would like to hear more about this!
posted by Greg Nog at 2:33 PM on February 2, 2013


Sapiens left Africa 60-125,000 years ago - so interbreeding at 80,000 seems very plausible. And that date-range keeps getting pushed back older as new discoveries have been made so the 60,000 is sort of conservative worst-case, most likely on the older side.

This PBS NOVA episode from just a couple weeks ago examined the issue of Neanderthal and Sapiens interactions (and interbreeding) in some depth*. From my memory of the show, they say it happened more in the 40,000-35,000 year ago timeframe.

They make the case that the Neanderthal species wasn't so much killed by the Sapiens, or even out-competed for resources, rather simply bred out of existence. Also I found it interesting that the last Neanderthals basically retreated further and further into southern Spain, finally getting snuffed out at Gibraltar about 24,000 years ago.

* Not that deep at all, of course. NOVA seems to have dumbed down their show quite a bit in the last year or two. More swoopy video and dramatic narration, less actual science.
posted by intermod at 9:04 PM on February 2, 2013


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