Blog Entry 7: The Use of Color in Zardoz

One of the first things that stood out to me about the color in this film was the bright red color of the Speedo-like clothing that Zed and the rest of the Brutal Exterminators in the Outlands wear. This contrasts greatly with anything that any of the other characters wear throughout the entire movie, especially the other people of the Outlands, who seem to wear only muted colors, like brown and gray. The bright red clothing that Zed wears seems to represent the violence and death that they bring to the prisoners in the Outlands. This also plays into how the Eternals view him when he enters their Vortex for the first time. For a large chunk of the film, most of the eternal beings call him “monster” or “brutal”, which they believe him to be because of the violence he causes and represents. However, this is also interesting because the brightness of Zed’s clothing can almost fit in with the brightness of colors that the Eternals wear. None of them wear a shade of red quite like his, but their colorful outfits are definitely on par. The large variety of colors of the Eternals represent the wealth and freedom that they have to wear whatever they please. The colorful clothing also represents the femininity that rules their society. I also believe that the dull colors that the Outlands citizens wear represent their state of being- that they are in poverty, and are prisoners to Zardoz and his Exterminators. It represents a lack of wealth and a lack of opportunities to wear or even find the kind of material that Zed or any of the Eternals wear.  

In the second half of the film, Zed has a moment where he realizes what has truly been going on in the Vortex the entire time, and figures out who the real “bad guy” is in the story. As he is surrounded by projections of Renaissance paintings, he himself has a sort of “renaissance” moment. In this room, he is surrounded by pillars of white and bright lights, which represent a cleansing of his previous thoughts and ideals, and new clarity. After this, he wears a different, more orange outfit for almost the entire rest of the film. I think the orange represents his newfound freedom, as it is similar to something an Eternal would wear, because he is no longer under the control of Zardoz. 

In the last few scenes of the movie, we see Consuella, Zed, and their child wearing full dark green jumpsuits as they hide in the stone cave. Consuella has worn a bright green throughout the entire movie, but this dark green represents something entirely different. I believe it represents a sense of peace and calmness, as they are not involved in the violence, and are living together as a family. I also think it can also be a sign of the rebirth that they are putting into place with their child. It is implied that all of the Eternals have been killed, so with Zed and Consuella having a child, and having him leave their cave as he gets older, also implies that he will be the start of a new world, with masculine power in charge. “Human civilization in the form of the heteronormative family is restored.” (Wall, Film Theory and Zardoz)

Word Count: 556