How can you not love The Muppets – the kids’ phenomenon that adults love? We have a lot of good-will towards the Muppets and the extended Henson empire (films, the Muppet Show, Sesame Street, The Storyteller) and will go into bat for them any time. Why, only the other day Miss Piggy was bitch-slapping Fox News.
So we’re pleased to announce something of a Jim Henson mini season at FACT, timed to coincide with a brand new Muppet movie, which is receiving rave reviews (no, really).
FACT will be showing The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth over the coming weeks, two fondly-remembered classics from our youth.
Labyrinth, of course, features a be-leggins-ed David Bowies as goblin king Jaroth (half-Jarred, half-Gareth) sporting the most incredible wig this side of Kajagoogoo and posing various challenges for a young Jennfier Connolly to ovecome in order to rescue her baby brother.
It’s part-adventure, part-musical and Bowie’s synthy numbers are amusing and fairly listenable. Who could forget Dance Magic Dance? There’s also a parade of ludicrous, loveable characters and an excellent climax in an Escher-esque, well, labyrinth.
As with all the best kids’ films, there’s a definite nasty streak in Labyrinth but the warmth that Henson brought to everything runs through Labyrinth. We went last year when it was on at FACT and can confirm that’s it’s worth catching at the flicks.
The Dark Crystal is something else entirely; noticeably darker and more akin to the early 80s sword-and-sorcery epics of Krull and Excalibur, though perfectly fine for kids. But there are plenty of trademark Henson touches – and hideous baddies the Skekses are superb.
We’ve not seen it for years, but these old films are always worth revisiting, especially given the rare chance to see them on the big screen.
Hell, we might even go and see the new Muppets movie.
The Dark Crystal
Sunday 12 Feb at 3:15pm
Sunday 12 Feb at 5:30pm
Various from Friday 10 Feb – check listings