That magical cult classic that marked the fictional character Sarah’s (Jennifer Connelly) transition into adulthood and put the overt sexuality of David Bowie on display (always in tights, no less), The Labyrinth, will be screening at the Art Theatre of Long Beach Friday, at 11:15PM, in honor of Bowie’s life.
Bowie, who died Sunday at 69 years of age after a lifetime of boundary-bending musical hits, acting skill and renowned kindness and humor, is often cited as “unforgettable” in his role as the goblin king.
The film was a commercial failure at the time of its release, and the last feature film Jim Henson directed before his death in 1990, but went on to become a cult favorite.
Dubbed “a remarkable achievement” by the New York Times, the film also serves as a showcase to Henson’s artistic talents. But perhaps the best and most influential decision Henson made was to cast Bowie as Jareth, the Goblin King, a dominating force throughout the film.
In the beginning of the film, Bowie’s Jareth steals Sarah’s baby half-brother, with whom she is annoyed and wishes to disappear. Feeling responsible for her brother’s disappearance, she begins a quest to find him, entering the labyrinth that Jareth says she must solve within 13 hours before he turns her brother Toby into a goblin.
He is at once wicked, charming, and provoking, serving as Sarah’s idea of the ideal ‘80s glam pop star.
Labyrinth - As The World Falls Down (David Bowie)
That magical cult classic The Labyrinth, starring David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly, will be screening at the Art Theatre Long Beach Friday in honor of the Goblin King himself.Read more: http://lbpo.st/1Rmak1UPosted by Long Beach Post on Wednesday, January 13, 2016
The wardrobe, music and persona embodied by Bowie represent darker features of adulthood for Sarah that play a part in the movie’s central theme regarding growing up and taking responsibility for one’s actions. His declarations of love in “As the World Falls Down” brings the latent sexual tension to the surface, at least for adults re-watching the film (somewhat unsettling, given Bowie’s 39 years to Connelly’s 16 years the time the movie was released, and the movie’s labeling as a children’s film).
But all song, dance and subtext were done deliberately, according to Henson, as the film really is about a young American girl growing up (even if it is in a fantasy film).
Even those famous glam-rock pants Bowie wears throughout the film were purposefully used to build upon Bowie’s charisma and the character’s sexuality, according to conceptual designer Brian Froud.
Connelly remembered Bowie as a “warm” and “lovely” colleague in an interview with ETonline earlier this week.
“He was just a nice, sweet guy—cracking jokes and friendly with the crew,” she said.
Though it was a box office failure, the movie did nothing to stop Bowie’s forays into film. In fact, he continued performing in such movies as The Last Temptations of Christ (1988), Zoolander (2011, as himself), The Prestige (2006) and August (2008), among many others.
Friday’s screening will give Long Beach fans, some of whom may have even seen him perform in concert in 1973, a chance to remember Bowie’s powerful talents and lasting impact on the world’s entertainment landscape.
The Art Theatre of Long Beach is located at 2025 East Fourth Street. Tickets are $11 for adults, $8 for children, available here.
For more information, visit the Art Theatre’s website here.