Idaho Transfer (1973)

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Idaho Transfer (1973)

Post  BoG on Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:32 pm

What's Happening: Teens travel 56 years forward into bleak post-eco-holocaust future
Famous For: Makes a nice comparison to Glen and Randa
What is it about Idaho? Both Idaho Transfer and Glen and Randa set their post-holocaust futures in that state. Both films focus on teen characters, both are wistful and disillusioned, both are sparse and slow, both are ambiguous about the exact nature of the holocaust. But whereas Glen and Randa offers witty dialogue, moments of humor, moments of strangeness, and a marvelously uncertain conclusion, Idaho Transfer has few good lines, virtually no humor, uninspired sets and costumes, and an all-too-certain conclusion that leaves you saying "well, that sucks" but gives you nothing to think about. I realize that some viewers will like it. The Phantom praises the "novel storyline and skillful, if economy-minded, execution." But I must agree with John Stanley who calls it "well-intended but emotionally flat." Note, for example, the blithe attitudes toward time travel, hitchhiking, nudity, and rape.

Only two or three things actually happen in the film. Most of the time you find yourself watching the 12 youngsters wandering around the Idaho countryside. The countryside is beautiful - lava beds, plains, rivers, mountains on the horizon. And the mood is successfully conveyed by a soft piano-guitar score that plays above the small figures of the youngsters in the distance. The two or three things that happen are surprising. I also like the time-transfer machine which is a sort of teleporter in which you sit like a bobsled. But the characters all have whiny personalities (when they have any personalities at all), and it takes 30 minutes before you even realize that cranky Karen is the protagonist. The images are good, but you're given no reason to care about the movie.

Goldweber, David Elroy (2012-06-14). Claws & Saucers: Science Fiction, Horror, and Fantasy Film: A Complete Guide: 1902-1982 (Kindle Locations 37958-37987). David E. Goldweber. Kindle Edition.

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