Saturday, September 3, 2016

Everyone should journey into the Labyrinth

To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the release of Labyrinth, Fathom Events is showing the film on screens throughout the US for two days on September 11th and 14th.

This film is a great memory from my childhood. I feel very lucky that this film was my first introduction to David Bowie. I've always enjoyed musicals. Fantasy films are also a favorite of mine so Labyrinth was right up my alley. It is also amazing to me that the premise of the film comes from a young girl who falls for a story or legend she found in a book like a lot of my favorite stories.

The power of the Labyrinth is that is works as a whole, but it's components are strong artistic endeavors on their own. If you search for the book, which has just been released in hardback by Jim Henson Archives, you will find a novelization that clearly stands on it's own. With the themes of responsibility, love, loyalty, and friendship, it really makes for a great read. As for the music, it is amazing. This is the first soundtrack that I have ever bought. (Now, I have quite a few.) It really works well on its own. The lyrics and music are a moving combination that speak to the soul. The beats in some of the songs are just inspired. I really melt every time I hear "As The World Falls Down".

While the film is full of pomp and spectacle, as only Jim Henson and David Bowie can produce, at its heart, there is a simple story of a young girl finding her way in the world as she becomes the best version of her self - thanks to friends.

I am really looking forward to seeing this film with fellow fans and enjoying another journey through the Labyrinth.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

A Madness So Discreet

Author: Mindy McGinnis
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books / HarperCollins Publishers
Release date: October 6, 2015
Source: Advance Readers Copy
Audience: Young Adult

Good Reads Description:

Grace Mae knows madness.

She keeps it locked away, along with her voice, trapped deep inside a brilliant mind that cannot forget horrific family secrets. Those secrets, along with the bulge in her belly, land her in a Boston insane asylum.

When her voice returns in a burst of violence, Grace is banished to the dark cellars, where her mind is discovered by a visiting doctor who dabbles in the new study of criminal psychology. With her keen eyes and sharp memory, Grace will make the perfect assistant at crime scenes. Escaping from Boston to the safety of an ethical Ohio asylum, Grace finds friendship and hope, hints of a life she should have had. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who stalks young women. Grace, continuing to operate under the cloak of madness, must hunt a murderer while she confronts the demons in her own past.

My thoughts on this book:
When I picked up the book to see if I might want to read it, I became maddened myself. I know all about the stories of Nellie Bly's investigations into Mental Institutions of the times, the conditions 
along with their gross misuse as places to put those unfortunate souls that for one reason or another didn't fit into the "norm" of society. Therefore, I became interested to see how a YA fiction book would touch of a time period and subject that is just too infuriating to be believed. However, this book does an amazing job of bringing all of those injustices to life through Graces eyes while giving the reader a mystery to untangle and demons, both real and psychological, to slay. 

At first, we find Grace a victim, but it isn't long before she finds the strength she needs to claim her life for her own. She survives loss, betrayal, and countless other dangers to become a version of herself that can not only protect herself, but those she holds dear. 

I really enjoyed diving into the history of this book. It wasn't dry or hard to read. The story was well integrated in the time period, it's society and situations. It made me angry, but that anger also added a bit more excitement when Grace began to fight back. I was completely in her corner throughout the whole book.

Film Worthiness: 

I think this would transfer to film well. As a period piece, it is a standard production. The interest may be there with the political debates that are going on at the present time. There is a strong undercurrent of the abuse of power in this book. As we go to choose our leaders for the next 4 to 8 years, taking a look at what has happened in the past when power isn't used well might be a popular idea. 
For more information about author: Mindy McGinnis

On Twitter: @MindyMcGinnis
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