During a future ice age, dying humanity occupies its remaining time by playing a board game called "Quintet." For one small group, this obsession is not enough; they play the game with living pieces ... and only the winner survives.
In the distant future the world is in the grip of another ice age. A city originally built to house five million people is now in its death throes as the relentlessly advancing glacier is slowly crushing the metropolis's steel infrastructure. The relatively few surviving fur-clothed inhabitants, perhaps thousands, perhaps only hundreds, drift aimlessly in their grim, drab world, awaiting their inevitable fate as they try to survive from day to day with scavenged firewood and a minimal diet. Their only solaces are booza, an alcoholic drink distilled from moss, and Quintet, a seemingly innocuous board game for six players. The only other surviving mammals are roving packs of hungry mastiffs which roam the city's corridors and quickly dispose of the remains of the dead. Newly arrived from the south is Essex with his pregnant wife Vivia, seeking shelter in the doomed city only to find it populated by people middle-aged or older. They had supported themselves by hunting seals, but now that... Written by
The pavilion was to be razed after filming was complete. 'Robert Altman' had developed an affection for the silk-screened glass panels that he had used to heighten the lost-world sense of the movie's setting. He salvaged the 44 panels and for a time displayed them at his Lion's Gate studio. When he and his wife found an apartment in Manhattan in 1984, about a dozen of the panels - some as tall as 18 feet - became the dominant decorative feature. (The history of the panels and the apartment, with photos, became an article in the March 1990 issue of "Architectural Digest", preserved online at http://www.sopot.org/altmanresidence.pdf.) See more »
I saw the film in Westwood, and I don't recall having anyone walk out of the theater. The film is decidedly depressing. It was written at a time when a lot of people in the country were very concerned that America and the Soviet Union were heading towards nuclear war. The catch word at that time was "nuclear winter". Scientists in the late 1970's had just announced to the world that a nuclear war was totally unwinnable---because if just 10% of the nuclear weapons on Earth were detonated anywhere on the planet, so much dust and debris would be thrown into the upper atmosphere that the sun's rays would be blocked, causing another ice age. This film is set in such an ice age. The main theme of the movie is that nothing is more important than love and caring about people, and your family, and children. In the film, we see a world where people have stopped loving others, and where the people have adopted a death culture. The film was not very entertaining, but it was a warning of where our culture could be heading if we weren't careful. The movie certainly made me think. It was a turning point in my life, and made me realize I had a duty to care about other people.
26 of 36 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?