10 July 2008

can't wait

Time's praises

I just wish it were coming out this week.

On a semi-related note, I watched The Man Who Laughs (1928) last night. It wasn't an arbitrary push to the head of the queue--

Conrad Veidt's performance as Gwynplaine--the man who was mutilated as a child, a permanent grin carved on his face as punishment for his father's rebellion against James II--served as inspiration for the original character design of Batman's Joker. It's all about physical appearance, mind you. Gwynplaine's psychology is nothing like The Joker's; in spite of the fact that Gwynplaine really has more reasons to be insane and vengeful (his disfigurement, his father's murder, the loss of his inheritance, and the fact that everyone considers him a sideshow), he's a very good person. Whereas, by Tim Burton's telling, Jack was a rather dull monster before his accident; the results of the surgeon's efforts just emphasise what we already know about him, and turn him into a more obvious monster.

In terms of genre, beyond the initial scenes of the Iron Lady and Conrad Veidt's grotesque expression, I'm not sure why this is classified as horror. Macabre, yes. Horror, no.

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