Saturday, January 20, 2007

When I saw Pan's Labyrinth, there were two of those people in the audience that have to say "Hmm" loudly every time some crucial bit of plot is revealed. I love the Landmark in Hillcrest, but gods the clientele can be silly. Don't get me wrong, it's better than the regular theatres where hicks might chatter for the whole movie. But I marvel at the people who giggled at a casual reference to marijuana in Volver, or the guy who laughed loudly when Captain Vidal said, "Don't fuck with me." Yeah, okay, we understand you get it, you're not a rube. Well, not in the way you think.

Last night I watched A Canterbury Tale and Strangers with Candy, an odd double feature to be sure, but a good one. It was followed by two strange dreams;

In the first, I found myself accustomed to zombies wandering about town and even in my home at night. I was used to swerving to avoid them while driving, and I was used to hurrying past them to get to my room. But one night, I was disturbed to find all the zombies had disappeared. I cautiously entered this dark house, and saw no one. But when I reached for a light switch, I found a warm rotting hand instead--I woke up and was immediately frightened by the rumpled sheets next to me, which looked like a large, sobbing face.

I went back to sleep, and this time dreamt I was running around Baghdad with a large pulse rifle. Aeryn Sun was holding onto me, her arms around my neck and her legs around my waist. She wouldn't let go, but she seemed to get angry whenever the alignment of genitals made mine happy. War torn Baghdad at times morphed into grocery store aisles.

I suppose now's as good a time as any for me to finally get around to discussing Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way comes. It's about two thirteen year-old boys and the father of one who encounter a sinister carnival and engage in a battle of good versus evil, innocence versus sin, nature versus perversion. There's a general innocence about the novel, as the first portion describes an idyllic 1950s town with normal and loving families for the protagonists. Some might take the narrative as ironic, but I took it as absolutely sincere--There's a genuine love for how things naturally are for families and communities which is established to reveal the evil inherent in an agency bent on making the young prematurely old and giving unnatural youth to the mothers and fathers.

The set stage made a lot more sense to me when I discovered the novel was based on a screenplay Bradbury had written for Gene Kelly. As Charles Halloway, I'd instantly accept any of the pithy speeches Gene Kelly made, and I'd wholly believe he could defeat evil with his laughter.

The novel still works as interplay of the opposing forces. Some of the atmosphere created around the carnival's Mr Dark and the Dust Witch is palpably sinister.

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