(reposted from my LiveJournal – Thoughts on Labyrinth)
It will never cease to fascinate me what influence things from pop culture can have on us. TV shows we watch accompany us for years and become part of our life. Movies and certain actors and actresses make us run to the cinemas, happily awaiting the new ideas, forever saved on celluloid. What also will never stop to totally astonish me is when an old movie’s magic doesn’t die; when a fantasy adventure that wasn’t, by all means, successful when it came to the movie theaters, but getting a cult status over the years.
A few days ago, I re-discovered my love for the movie “Labyrinth”. 1986 given to a world who couldn’t quite honor it at that time, the movie was not exactly what one would call a box-office hit. Nevertheless, the ones who had seen Labyrinth and been fascinated by it, never forgot. And today the movie is more loved than ever.
It was by accident that I watched the movie on Nov. 7th, 2003 – so almost exactly six years ago. I was so fascinated that I immediately bought the DVD. Labyrinth was my new fandom; I even lost my interest in Andromeda over it. Over the years, the enthusiam came and went; sometimes I couldn’t get enough of stories and stuff, but sometimes I even totally forgot there was this movie. But never failed I to remember.
And here I am again.
Having watched Labyrinth for the umpteenth time (I can recite half of the movie…), it still makes me fall into a state of complete fangirly love and joy, like it was the first time. I still don’t know what it is that totally fascinates me, but as I had to realize – I’m not the only one without an explanation *lol* Perhaps a great part in it takes the fact that this movie was made with so much energy and love. From a nowadays view, it is nothing special. But, today they would simply use CGI for 80% of the movie. Back then, they didn’t even work with Blue- and Greenscreen. Every being, every goblin or worm (I LOVE him, he’s so cute *lol*) or dwarf or firey or Helping Hand – nothing was computer animated, but a puppet or a mask worn by a man or woman.
Consiering their technical possibilities at this time, Labyrinth is absolutely genius and impressive.
The other part is of course, and will ever be, the subtle, forbidden love story between Sarah and Jareth. For those who want to call it a love story. I know there are a lot discussion about the right and wrong of seein Sarah and Jareth as a potential couple. She’s only 15, after all, and he’s the evil king who only wants to distract her, to torture her emotionally. He just don’t want her to win; that’s the reason why he initiates the ball. Or is it? He could have chosen any other scene. Any other situation to disturb her, to make her forget.
Something less… romantic and suggestive, but more harmless. But he chose the ball, he chose to show her the world of adults and as also said in the Making Of, this ballroom scene is very much adult; take a closer look at the costumes and what the cloth really covers (it’s not easy to recognize… especially not when you concentrate on Sarah and Jareth what most people probably do), or at how the other “guests” interact. So maybe Sarah longs fo her dream prince, and a extremely handsome Jareth dancing with AND singing to her resembles this dream prince. Sarah is on the verge of womanhood and of course might she have noticed how attractive Jareth is.
At that age, girls “check” almost every man automatically. Less interest in men in general means also that she will like less men, their appearance, their… well, manhood (as physical attribute!). But it doesn’t mean she won’t look to begin with. Sarah sees the evil king and foe in Jareth first; but she also sees the man in him.
In addition, we’ve of course the last encounter between those two where you really can analyze and interpret.
His words, his gestures and expression, her reactions, and so on. It’s even more interesting if you know the novel, because the scenes end with Jareth, now defeated and vanishing due to her words, moaning her name, obviously in pain, and Sarah crying. Yes, in the book she cries – not because she’s relieved, but, as it is said, because of the grief and sorrow she felt. And NOW one can speculate. Maybe, in the end, she was in love with the Goblin King, just as he was in love with her (as it was said in the beginning of the movie and also the book), ad following her duties, saving the child, but losing the man she loved, was a heavy burden to take.
She knew she didn’t have any other chance; had to fulfil her responsibilities, but it broke her heart nevertheless.
I’m already thinking about taking a break from writing fanfics for TV shows, and go back to my Laby fics that are still wating to be finished (or written at all). Might be no such bad idea…
Funny thing is, I can’t bring myself to say the words. You know. The ones that would make the King lose all his power of the challenged person. The famous words Sarah always had trouble to remember. I don’t know why I can’t say it and of course it somehow sounds stupid.
But maybe I’m afraid I’d ban the one Fae king that could come and lead me into a magical world… 😉