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Movie Natters: November 26, 2007 Archive

Thanksgiving report

Posted at 3:42 PM on November 26, 2007 by Euan Kerr

Thanks to everyone who made suggestions for the Thanksgiving Film Festival. What with the food surplus and the call of the snow outside (we were in northern Wisconsin) we ended up only seeing "Earth Girls are Easy" and "Local Hero."
Both seemed very dated mainly because of the the hairstyles and the phones. In fact we were horrified to realize that "Local Hero" as a story just wouldn't work today in the age of cell phones.

Not surprisingly Burt Lancaster, Peter Riegert and Denis Lawson won out as the crowd fave, even though Damon Wayans and Jim Carrey's pre-"In Living Color" collaboration drew a lot of attention.

The Sweeney heebie-jeebies

Posted at 5:00 PM on November 26, 2007 by Euan Kerr (5 Comments)

When I was very young I used to love to go to the Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh. It's still there, an incredible place stuffed with toys and playthings from across the ages.

There was only one place that made me nervous though. On an upper floor there were a pair of Victorian amusement machines. You could drop in a penny and it would whirr and clunk to life.

One machine was really cool. It showed a haunted house with spooks and moving statues, and twirling pictures.

But the other one... well, that was the story of Sweeney Todd. I don't remember much about what happened as it went into action but it ended with the demon barber bearing down on an unfortunate victim and having at him with his straight-edge razor. The victim would glow bright red and then the barber seat would pitch backwards and the body would slip away to be made into meat pies.

As a five year old I was so horrified and maybe traumatized by the whole idea, and in particular the red glow that Sweeney Todd has always made me uncomfortable ever since.

I had no interest in the Stephen Sondheim musical when it came out in 1979. In fact I'd pretty much forgotten about it until I ran into the trailer for the new Tim Burton movie the other day, with Johnny Depp wielding the razor and Helena Bonham Carter making the pies..

It just unleashed all those childhood fears again. It's just strange that after all these years, the character still gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Now I have to work out whether I'm going to go see it or not. Eeeech. The film opens December 21st. Nothing says Christmas like serial killers and meat pies, eh?

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