Monday, 8 October 2007

24 days till the best holiday ever!!!

Ahh, Halloween. As the leaves start to fall, birds depart for gentler climes, and the Triple Rock starts booking its annual covers band crapstravaganza, my mind turns with fondness to that first autumn I spent living on my own. My first time stealing booze with a boy dressed as Britney Spears. My first time buying stuff from Target for a costume only to return it two days after all the parties. My first time watching Tod Browning's controversial 1932 drama "Freaks," the film that dares to ask the question "Can a fully grown woman truly love a midget?"

(The answer, at least in Browning's world, would appear to be no, although I'm fairly certain that another, more "adult" Hollywood industry can probably provide video evidence to the contrary.)

"Freaks" is available pretty much anywhere now (I got it from the U of M Blockbuster six years ago), but back in the day the film's casting of actual sideshow oddities and performers was considered so disturbing that it was banned in the UK for thirty years. US audiences didn't know what to make of it either, and T-Brown's directing career didn't exactly benefit from its limited release. For the most part the plot stays true to the tagline cited above, with additional sideplots involving how freaks are actually fine, upstanding people. Of course, none of that does anything to dispel the growing atmosphere of carnival gloom, which is why most people watch it.

There is a whole helluva lot of stuff based around this movie including Ramones songs, the HBO series Carnivale, and according to wikipedia, the Will Smith film I, Robot. (Eww.)

Oh, and by the way, yes, this film is disturbing. And yes, you can watch it right here

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