Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

July 9, 2014 at 9:43am

Nerd Alert! - H.P. Lovecraft and the Beatles

Onscreen and on record, they're this young forever. Photo credit: Janus Films release, (C) Bruce and Martha Karsh

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For several years, Mexican auteur Guillermo Del Toro has been working his way through the Hollywood studio system, and has been mostly successful in bringing his unique, artfully grotesque vision to the likes of the Hellboy franchise and Pacific Rim. Still, the purest expression of Del Toro's style is perfectly distilled in Pan's Labyrinth, a beautifully visceral spin on fairy tales. It is this form, presumably, that Del Toro has been struggling for years to bring to his proposed adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's novella, At the Mountains of Madness.

It's almost a foregone conclusion that Del Toro and Lovecraft are a match made in heaven, with their shared love of insanity-inducing god-monsters. But, the filmmaker has yet to realize this adaptation, thanks to Universal refusing to grant him the R-rated cut that he desired. Recently, however, Del Toro has admitted to the Wall Street Journal that he would be willing to give a PG-13 Madness a shot. While the outcome is still up in the air, Lovecraft fans should breathe a sigh of relief that Del Toro is back at the helm.

Personally, I'll never forgive the Del Toro for backing out of The Hobbit - thus extending our inexorable exposure to Peter Jackson - but I'm willing to let him win me back with a flurry of tentacles and psychotic destruction.

YOU KNOW I FEEL ALRIGHT: The Fab Four in A Hard Day's Night

Roger Ebert summed it up just about perfectly when he said that A Hard Day's Night was "one of the great life-affirming landmarks of the movies." In terms of pure joy, nothing quite matches up to the Beatles' film debut. For any unfortunate souls who have yet to see this classic, it's so much more than a vanity project for a band that attracted hordes of screaming girls.

While there's a requisite amount of fast-motion goofing off, there's also plenty of delightfully dense dialogue and clever wordplay. One scene, in particular, stands out to me: John Lennon is backstage at some sort of show, when he runs into a woman who seems to recognize him. "Are you ..." she starts, before Lennon tells her no. Back and forth they go, with neither saying who the other one is talking about, in a bit that borders on Abbott and Costello level comedic timing.

A Hard Day's Night is a must-see, especially if you have the opportunity to catch it on a big screen, which you now have.

A HARD DAY'S NIGHT, 1 p.m. Friday July 11 and Sunday, July 13 and 7 p.m. Thursday July 17, The Grand Cinema, 606 S, Fawcett, Tacoma, $5-$9.50, 253.593.4474

Filed under: Nerd Alert!, Screens, Books, Music, Tacoma,
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