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The Dark Crystal

Thanks to the good people at Twitch & TIFF me and the boys found our asses back at the Bell Lightbox. Like the other 80′s films I’ve covered in this childish escapade The Dark Crystal was once a treasured tape. Now, like The Goonies it is an afternoon at the cinema I’ll never forget.

The Dark Crystal is reverenced material for my family, so much so that I have a cousin named after it’s female protagonist. It was a major player in my early development, tutoring me about the beauty of the moving picture. Like Star Wars and E.T. this movie forced me to find the roll of fine arts in film. What I mean is, the rolls played by painters, photographers, and even puppeteers.

Like most kids I loved drawing. From dragons to robots I’d spend hours doodling the fantastical. The purpose therapeutic, but the hope was for fame and fortune. Until I hit middle-school I longed for the life of an artist, to become a phenom like ‘mister-master-stroke’ Brian Froud.

Before Jim Henson created the opus in discussion he hired Brian Froud to paint the world he hoped to build. Enlisted as a concept artist Froud created the designs for the Mystics, Skesis, Pod People, and Gelflings. Basically he laid the groundwork for what would become some of Henson’s most memorable puppets.

With drawings done, sets built, and puppets in hand Henson utilized his second major asset, Ossie Morris. Just before his retirement Jim asked him for a final favor, and the multi-award winning cinematographer acquiesced. The masterful eye that captured The Fiddler on the Roof was set to shoot a film with no real actors, and no real locations. The result remains one the greatest takes on the fantasy genre to date. The Dark Crystal could have easily looked ridiculous, but instead it remains a picturesque salute to Morris’s celebrated catalog.

Painters and photographers, just two major players behind a mesmerizing movie. There are numerous stories about a boy on an unexpected quest; many tales about a single soul saving the world; but there is only one Dark Crystal. There is only one film daring enough to have cast puppets in a fairy tale for the ages. Thank you Jim Henson, may your artistic soul rest in peace.

Sincerely,

My Life at the Movies

Comments

  • user99

    Jon! what an amazing tribute to all the hardwork that masterpiece took to accomplish. It was a joy to feel the excitement and depth of appreciation you have for The Dark Crystal. Great movie, and as always, great mlatm. Cheers.

    • Anonymous

      Thx buddy! Your continued support is amazing and appreciated. Covering these 80′s films has brought great depth to MLatM, and I am excited to see another one this weekend. Check out Twitch Film’s site as they have a lot of great movie info for cult heads like us.

      Speaking of Cult films, I will be blogging about a documentary tonight which I saw yesterday evening. It was titled “Machete Maidens: Unleashed” and it tells the tale of the Filipino Film era and the Roger Corman productions that came out of it. Expect some boobs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Gerontzos/100001193611775 John Gerontzos

    Unlike the other 80′s flick we I have seen so far Dark Crystal was the only one I have not watched again since I was a wee lad.

    I was magically swept back to my childhood with it’s child-like innocence. It lived up to all of my memories and expectations.

    If I ever do have kids this will be one that I sit them down infront of.

    Good job
    jg

    • Anonymous

      Agreed, this is definitely a film for all ages, and a great one to start kids off on. Furthermore, the quality of the reel we got to watch was epic. It was crisp, clean, and had impeccable sound. I was thoroughly impressed with the showing we got, and can’t wait to see The Last Starfighter. I entered the online draw this time to win that poster, and want to sit closer to see if my studying pays off. FINGERS CROSSED!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Gerontzos/100001193611775 John Gerontzos

    Unlike the other 80′s flick we I have seen so far Dark Crystal was the only one I have not watched again since I was a wee lad.

    I was magically swept back to my childhood with it’s child-like innocence. It lived up to all of my memories and expectations.

    If I ever do have kids this will be one that I sit them down infront of.

    Good job
    jg

  • Chris Elliott

    This shit looks wierd as hell dog. But I respect it because it came out of the 80′s. Great piece brotha. Love the word-play.

    • Anonymous

      It is definitely different, but you don’t get anything less when dealing with the master of the muppets. Most importantly it is an enjoyable experience that shouldn’t be missed, and since you have… get on making sure you don’t any longer.

  • http://twitter.com/g_gryffyn 그웬 (Gwen)

    Most excellent blog/tribute to one of the greatest fantasy films ever. I agree with everything, so there’s really nothing to add on my part. It’s one that holds up to multiple viewings (story, visuals, everything) even after all these many years.

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