Due to popular demand, there will be an additional screening of Labyrinth tomorrow Tue 13 Dec. The digitally restored print shows off the incredible spectacle of Jim Henson’s final film, 25 years on from its original release and Cornerhouse Digital Reporter Ben Williams encourages you to catch it on the big screen…
For those of you unfamiliar with Hoggle, Ludo and The Bog Of Eternal Stench; Labyrinth is a classic 1980’s fantasy adventure. Spoilt teenager Sarah (played by a very young Jennifer Connolly) wishes away her baby brother, Toby, to a fantasy world ruled by Jareth, The Goblin King (David Bowie no less). She has 13 hours to navigate through the Labyrinth to The Castle Beyond the Goblin City and rescue baby Toby, before Jareth can turn him into one of his Goblin subjects. Along the way, she encounters a some of the funniest and frightening characters from the mind that brought us The Muppet Show, Sesame Street and The Dark Crystal.
Labyrinth‘s unashamed borrowings from Alice In Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz work as well now as they did then, preserved in no small part by Terry Jones’ Pythonesque script. 25 years may have contributed a few more unintentional laughs, David Bowie’s figure-hugging costume certainly caused more than just a few giggles at last weeks showing. I wonder how Bowie views the film these days, if he was ever told not to work with children and muppets, he didn’t listen. Working alongside Henson’s creations might not have brought out his finest acting, but this was my introduction to Bowie. He is just as iconic now as Jareth and in a slightly ‘kooky’ way, I still rate Magic Dance as one of his best songs of that period. The sight of him performing with a room full of puppets is a brilliant moment and a fantastic illustration of Jim Henson’s unrivalled brilliance.
There’s still plenty to enjoy in Labyrinth after all these years. It’s packed with laughs, scares and a sense of adventure rare in contemporary family cinema. Take your friends along and reminisce about your childhood, or bring your children and introduce them to a magical kingdom of puppets instead of pixels.
Labyrinth is being shown as part of the Festive Favourites Season.