The Dark Crystal

 

My family is a strange bunch.  I’ve always heard that I was too young to see this in theatres and that only dad and my sister went to see it.  Even last week mom was sticking to that story.  Yesterday and today, my sister is convinced that we all saw it as a family.  I asked my mom when we came home and immediately she said, “Of course we saw it as a family!”  Regardless, I was only one, whether I did in fact see it in the theatres back in 1982 or not.  I’m going with no, since I don’t remember it.

I was so super excited for today, to see this film in the theatre, since it’s my most absolute favourite film of all time.  My family, however, thought that my excitement was a bit ridiculous.  Who cares!  I was going whether my sister decided to back or think I was weird.  I even didn’t feel so hot early today and I was still going!

So, initially Festival South had this as a free event, but later changed it to $8.  That’s fine.  I mean it’s weird to not have all of your ducks in a row for a festival with all of the correct information up front, but I’d pay $8 to see this film on othe big screen, so I let it slide.

It was raining when we left the house and was still raining a little when we arrived, which was nice as I do adore rain…  

 

They didn’t have it on the show time screen, though they had other FSFX films listed.  The Sister was worried.  “No, I checked the official site and this theatre just before we left.  They are playing it.”  I figured I’d ask anyway once we had our turn at the ticket office window.

We skipped the FSFX table and Jim Henson exhibit for afterwards, because we had 5 minutes until show time and we did want some popcorn and coke.  Concessions at the movie theatre is dad’s fault really.  Growing up, he had to have popcorn and coke and that’s what we always got on every single outting to the cinema.  Mom’s family wasn’t like that, which is why I say it’s all dad with the concessions.  

Check out the information promo with the ‘Child Friendly, Parental Warning’.  Pfft, please!

 

There weren’t many people there, and a guy got up and talked about Festival South, Jim Henson, The Bicentennial, and The Dark Crystal for a bit.  The things he discussed about The Dark Crystal, I already knew.  Though I’m glad they were relaying it to film watchers.  Like the puppetry of what they were going to see.  People fitting in the costumes and being in amazing positions to be the character.  It really is cool like the guy said.  He did mention one costume being so heavy, but he couldn’t remember the character name and I leaned over and whispered, “The Gartham” to The Sister, and he went on with ‘It starts with a G, but the name escapes me… anyway.’  He also mispronounced Brian Froud’s name.

I actually being rather verklempt and a few tears streamed down my face with the classic Universal logo with the intro music.  I’m not even certain why.  It’s not like that was particularly worth seeing on the big screen, or like I hadn’t seen that logo paired with that music a million times over the years.  But needless to say, I did become a bit emotional.  

The film was worth seeing on the big screen and not simply because I love it so much.  There’s so much detail I’ve never noticed on a small to medium telly screen.  So, the first scene showing Jen the Gelfling…he’s naked!  I always just assumed that he was wearing his clothes and they were just faded out a little, or else different clothes.  Jen is naked again in the Dream Fasted scene, as a baby and a kid (which I knew), but on the big screen you can see how the puppet fits together; like how the head fit into the body and the moving joints for the arms and such.  The same with the necks of the Skeksi’s.  

Or, there are a few times when Aughra is a person (for the full walking shots, like with Jen & Kira), but I’d never noticed anything amiss in her scenes on the telly, but on the big screen, it was obvious that this scene or that wasn’t ‘normal puppetry scene’ & one scene just before she dumps out the box of shards infront of Jen, the Aughra costume that the (I’m assuming Little Person, and not  child like Jen & Kira), the mask is quite frightening and just wrong, but just for half a glimpse.  You might think this would ruin it for me, but this was exactly what I was hoping to see; any things that I’d always missed before.  Also on the small screen all the small details just tend to blend together, but on the large screen, things I’d seen a million times just sort of popped out better.  Just little things like a trinket here or there, or the details of walls or symbols.  

Also, on the large screen, the Skeksi’s are super creepy.  I mean I’m not creeped out by them or scared of them.  I never was, unlike some girl who was watching it with me when we were 14 and she was scared.  And I’ll remind you that I was first watching with film on Video Disc on a small telly by age 2 (which is my first memory of seeing it), or else as a 1 year old baby seeing it on the big screen.  And for anyone that’s seen the film, the Skeksi’s aren’t cute & cuddly; you wouldn’t want to meet them down a dark alley!  But I digress… anyways, you can see all of their details more clearly and they are super gross and gnarly and it’s awesome. 

 

And so after the film we looked at the traveling Jim Henson exhibit and I took photo’s of my most favourite creations of his.

Fraggle Rock, Muppet Babies, & Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas!

I’m afraid that a lot of the exhibit photo’s aren’t that great, because I was trying to not be in people’s way, but this is the world of Fraggle Rock concept drawing.

Sesame Street!

The Storyteller, The Muppet Movie, & The Sister with the Manamana Muppets.

The Muppet Show

FSFX brochure

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