January 11 - LABYRINTH (1986)
"It's only forever, not long at all."
I didn't grow up listening to David Bowie's music, nor did I really begin to understand the impact his art had on pop culture until I took a class in college that touched on his oeuvre. The outpouring of emotion today about Bowie's life, work, death and his unique ability to somehow unify them all into something greater than the sum of its parts and transcend definition made today's film choice obvious. Perfectly fantastic and ridiculous but endlessly amusing, LABYRINTH provides a stage for Bowie's performance as Jareth the Goblin King-but-he's-also-an-owl-though.
The world of LABYRINTH is imaginatively realized in a rare way. Jim Henson puppets populate a bizarrely detailed fantasy landscape with a charming/grating cast of characters (Ludo for MVP, Didymus for GTFO) and the story stays out of the way as best it can to allow for maximum antics and musical numbers (although any interlude without Bowie should have been instantly spotted as a mistake). The runtime felt much shorter than 101 minutes, which should indicate the whimsy of LABYRINTH didn't overstay its welcome. This is the kind of movie I can easily see myself calling up when a friend mentions she hasn't seen it and I'd have no problem sitting through it again.
While I obviously chose to watch LABYRINTH for David Bowie's involvement, it also serves as a paradigmatic example of my Monday category: the fantastic. Tomorrow: B-sides.