David Bowie, legendary musician and artist died today. It’s hard to know how to celebrate someone with such a huge body of work who gave so many people so much, but I know it doesn’t require re-watching the 1986 movie Labyrinth.
I’ve seen Labyrinth, dudes. Summer of 2002 – I was 17 years old at a pre-college summer program at the Rhode Island School of Design and someone said, “We must get high and watch Labyrinth.” So we did. Someone also said, “We must play the Pixies’ ‘Where Is My Mind’ on repeat, smoke a pack of cigarettes and then paint that feeling,” and we did that too. We only had bad ideas.
When you’re on a dark dance floor, lost in the ecstasy of “Let’s Dance” or driving down an endless highway blasting “Life On Mars?” you feel like David Bowie might be an actual god with his hand around your heart. When you watch Labyrinth you wonder why Tanya, the 39 year-old American Airlines customer service rep from a call center in Kansas City has been cast as the lead in a movie.
It’s difficult for me to remember much from the edibles-fog of that evening at RISD in 2002 except for David Bowie’s cock bulge, which is really the standout performance of the film. So here are some excerpts from the Wikipedia plot summary of Labyrinth:
Fifteen-year-old Sarah Williams rehearses a play in the park and becomes distracted by a line she is unable to remember while being watched by a barn owl.
Boring and insane.
After failing to solve a riddle, Sarah ends up in an oubliette where she reunites with Hoggle.
Oh good. There’s someone named “Hoggle.”
Jareth magically sends them to the Bog of Eternal Stench as punishment where they reunite with Ludo.
Sarah, Hoggle, and Ludo meet the guard of a bridge out of the swamp named Sir Didymus, an anthropomorphic fox and his Old English Sheepdog steed named Ambrosious.
No one has ever heard “Under Pressure” without feeling like they are suddenly in control of the earth’s rotation and simultaneously the star of the most pivotal scene in the most important movie ever made. So do that. Listen to Hot Space or Hunky Dory while you smoke a joint and cry in the mirror. Don’t watch this legend indulge teenaged Jennifer Connelly’s whining and perform “Dance, Magic, Dance” for some puppets.
Unless you are 17. Then do whatever.
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