Yesterday the Irish Film Institute had a free film day, for which their ostensibly family film was “Labyrinth”! Ostensibly because there was one, count ‘em, one kid in the audience, and everybody else was in their twenties or older. The guy next to me had never seen it. His girlfriend had brought him to it. He thought it was brilliant. :)
Me, I figure somebody at the IFI noticed that the Cineworld showing of Labyrinth a few weeks ago sold out, and that they went “Dude, we should show this on free film day!” I mean, yes, it’s 25 years since it came out and 20 years since Henson’s death, so there are arguments to be made as to why they might have chosen it…but it seems very unlikely that two theatres would choose to show that film inside of a month just by happenstance. Not that I’m complaining, you understand, because it meant I (and Geek Girl Sarah, who I ran into at the theatre and sat with) got to see it on the big screen even though the Cineworld showing was sold out. So yay for theatres paying attention. :)
And I bought a year membership to the IFI, because they were having a 20% off thing which made it a mere twenty quid, and hell, if I go see two movies there in the next year that’s worth it. And since I’ve seen two there in the past month, I can probably manage two in the next twelve. :)
Some Labyrinth comments behind the cut!
I’d never seen Labyrinth on the big screen. There were all sorts of things I’d never noticed! Red lights in the goblins’ eyes, things like that, but most particularly that there are *lots* of junk ladies in the junkyard. My extrapolation is that they are all girls like Sarah whose younger siblings were stolen by Jareth, and who didn’t make it all the way through the Labyrinth to save them. CREEPY.
I’m afraid that although 95% of the audience knew what they were getting, there were still quite a few titillated giggles at David Bowie’s tight pants and codpiece. And I’m even more afraid that his snowy owl costume in the last scene begot some belly laughs (from guys, mind you), and I’m more afraid still that I could see their point. And yet. :)
I realized something, watching it on the big screen, and that is that as a writer (dare I say “artist”?), I would desperately, *desperately* like to create in my readers the same feelings I get during the ballroom scene. The beauty, the fear, the excitement, the tantalization, the horror, the sensuality, the innocence, the corruption, the longing, the loss, the need. It’s what, a three minute scene? And it’s devastating. I mean, possibly it’s really only devastating if you were a thirteen year old girl the first time you saw it, but I don’t think so. I think it’s genuinely powerful, and man, if I could write a scene that does what that one does, I would call myself a success.
Also, watching it on the big screen and really taking a look at all the things in Sarah’s room, all the fantasy and fairy and magic and, well, geek-girl stuff, I wondered why the hell it is, really, that geek girls still get so little credit for even existing. Jim Henson knew we were out there twenty-five years ago, and he made us beautiful. How is it that Sarahs still goes so unseen every day and catch hell when we’re noticed (re: Katie the Star Wars fan, for one) when we’ve been here all along? As an adult geek girl, that’s a side to Labyrinth’s tragedy that’s only just come home to me.
To end on a happier note, though, I still think Labyrinth has one of the most perfect fairy tale moments I’ve ever encountered. Right there at the end, when Hoggle and Didimus and Ludo are willing to go face Jareth with Sarah, and she says no, I have to go alone. “Why?” they ask, and, almost bewildered, Sarah says, “Because that’s the way it’s done.”
And Didimus says, “Well, if that’s the way it is done, then that is the way you must do it!”
And despite liking very much that Joss turned that particular trope on its ear and Buffy did *not* have to do it alone (nor did Mal, actually, now that I think about it)…I love beyond words that Sarah knew how it was done, and that her comrades at arms understood instantly that they could go no further. *That* is a fairy tale, and for that, any flaws are forgiven.(x-posted from the essential kit)