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Two escapees (Robert Shaw and Malcolm McDowell) are on the run in an unspecified but seemingly Latin-American country. Everywhere they go they are observed and hounded by a menacing black helicopter. Written by
Jonathon Dabell <BC602070@pixie.ntu.ac.uk>
existential chase film, largely forgotten, but worth a look.
FIGURES IN A LANDSCAPE is interesting for a lot of reasons: it was directed by Joseph Losey,it stars a very young Malcolm McDowell and it boasts a script by co-star Robert Shaw.
The set-up is very existential: 2 men are pursued by a mysterious black helicopter over a rough, desert terrain. We never learn the reasons for any of this or even where it is taking place.The atmosphere of dread is kept at a high level thru-out.
Everything about the film is as stripped to the basics as the title suggests. The men are never given much more than the briefest of backgrounds. But it is precisely this quality of mystery that gives the film its main points of interest. I would certainly like to be able to see it on a larger screen. The helicopter photography is very impressive and the shots of the two figures traversing the inhospitable terrain are striking.
Robert Shaw gives a ferocious performance. Malcolm McDowell's part requires him to be more subdued but he is capable and provides the film's main sympathetic character.
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