“You remind me of the babe…” – More to Labyrinth than David Bowie’s crotch
My friends and I watched the Jim Henson film “Labyrinth” earlier this week and I have to admit, I was suddenly inspired to blog about it.
If you’re looking for a timeless film, a fantastic example of Jim Henson’s work, a catchy soundtrack and a fun storyline, this is it.
If you’re looking for a film with David Bowie in tight grey pants complete with many gratuitous crotch shots, this is also it.
Even though most people will often state that the one thing that is best remembered from the film is David Bowie’s crotch (myself included) it has to be said that I constantly catch myself and other quoting lines from the movie or singing and dancing whenever we hear a song like “Magic Dance”.
The plot is a pretty basic one. A young girl, dissatisfied with her home life ends up in a predicament where she has to venture into a fantasy world with many dangers in order to get back that which she’d wished away. You also can’t forget the love interest, the evil prince/king/sorcerer that is the one who grants her wish, puts her on the path, tries to get her to love him back and yet fails when she defies him and returns to her home. It’s a classic example of the hero’s journey (complete with the hero returning with a better knowledge of the self) but even so it’s easy to fall in love and call this movie a favorite even as an adult.
The puppetry in this movie was brilliant with the detail in the costumes and how lifelike they looked, especially when they moved. The guards at the doors, the knockers, Sir Didymus and so on were so well done that you could forget they weren’t real. In today’s movie world where everything is done as CGI, this movie brings you back to things that you feel you can reach out and touch.
And the music…oh the music. When I dressed as David Bowie’s character, Jareth, at Dragon*Con and then at GMX this year I can’t tell you how many times I heard people start the call and response before “Magic Dance” and then I’d be unable to resist actually breaking into song. It’s cute, it’s fun to sing and it totally gets stuck in your head.
While the character of Sarah tends to be whiny and not quite to my taste, she does grow during her time in the labyrinth, often with the help of friends that she meets along the way. Jareth, on the other hand, is a pleasure to watch and not just as eye candy. His frustration and sudden realization of sadness during the song “Within You” never fails to have me glued to the screen. The dull white flowing costume, showing his sadness and his animal personal (the white barn owl) at the very end is beautiful and is an excellent reflection of his mood during that scene. Yes, his hair is very 80’s and yes he looks like he rolled in glitter during many of the scenes but for some reason he’s able to make that appearance fit the character perfectly.
If you’ve never seen the movie, you’re missing out and I suggest you go and get it now. If you’ve seen it before, go ahead and rewatch it this weekend.
And if you’re like me and own 3 different copies of the dvd….grab a drink, settle down tonight and count the number of times David Bowie’s crotch seems to be the focus of a camera shot.