Sunday, October 17, 2010

Labyrinth (1986)

What would be a better happy counter to "Pan's Labyrinth" than "Labyrinth"?

Several reasons why "Labyrinth" is famous:

1. David Bowie
2. "Dance Magic Dance"
3. Jim Henson muppets
4. Jennifer Connonelly

What is it about David Bowie that makes him so ethereal, alien, awesome, and freakin' sexy in this movie????? I'm gonna have to say it was the cape and the crystal balls.

Before "Crank Yankers", muppets use to make the movies or television shows wholesome and silly. Think Alf, Sesame Street, Eurekas Castle, the list goes on."Labyrinth" gave muppets the ability to be creepy and slightly disturbing (come on. those orange things were tossing their own heads around while singing!!!). The designs were grotesque and nothing was friendly about them. Even the big goofy thing was intimidating. It was almost as if Jim Henson had a closet of emo muppets he wanted to unleash upon the world. Thank you!!! Happy muppets can be a bit too overwhelming...

Before I go on, I must say:
I love this movie. I love this movie. I love this movie. This was one of the pivotal movies in my adolescence. I was immediately attracted to the Demon King (I'm not gonna shirk from the truth)and it became my own personal fairy tale. As much as I want to believe I matured, I still feel I am like Sarah before the Demon King: I'm still dancing around living the stories in my mind. Although I do have friends, so not quite like Sarah.

Clarification out of the way, I can talk about this movie objectively. This is not all entirely happy silly movie with muppets.It is a dark and sad movie. Even though the muppets are to add comedy, the music is to somewhat uplift us, there are alot of dark elements: loneliness, kidnapping, delusions, unrequited love, truth, the meaning of friends. What the hell!

"Labyrinth" involves a young girl, Sarah, who loves nothing more than to dance around the park LARPing characters from her fantasy novels. She is stuck babysitting for her baby brother one night. As she attempts to console his crying, she unknowingly summons the demon king (David Bowie in all his glory) to take the baby away. In order to save him, she must solve the labyrinth in thirteen hours.

That's not a happy story right?

The Demon King is hopelessly and cruelly in love with Sarah. He obsesses over her even as he places obstacles in her path. There is a song that Bowie sings towards the end that really shows how much more he wants to possess her instead of loving her. Plus the dance he has with her in the ballroom is incredibly creepy. Really pretty but creepy. Why the hell does he even love her? Why would he love a pansy like Sarah in the first place? I guess a good argument would be that he eventually fell in love with her since she gains the power and strength to work through the labyrinth.Eh. Still kinda weird but I tend to glaze over that.

The muppets are not beautifully made. They're scary and sad almost wiry and underloved. Ugly. Sad. Ew. Think Elmo if Elmo was thrown in a garbage bag full of test tubes teeming with pathogens.

The first ally she meets is urinating against the labyrinth walls.

Stories with labyrinths are RARELY happy stories. I'm pretty sure it has something to do with solving the inner puzzle within out soul conscience. Often times the journey of self-discovery is never smooth and is always full of facing dangers. No one really wants to admit to themselves that they are immensely flawed in any way.

That's why the muppets and the music are perfect in counterbalancing the dark aspects of the movie. It opens up the movie to be acceptable for children. It's pretty much another fairy tale; adult themes hidden in song and dance.

I must have been warped the first time I watched. This was beautiful and romantic to me.
Actually I still think that way....

I though it would be funny if I added a video review from the Nostalgic Chick. See if you agree:

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