Saturday, January 19, 2008

The worst pies in London

"So what are you doing with a weekend all to yourself, Miss Sue?" TheChalicerelative asked, a reference to theCSO being out of town until Tuesday.
"Dunno. I'll help you pack some, and I'll spend some time at work, I expect," I said into the phone, keeping my eyes carefully on the road.
"What about this evening? If I'd thought about it, we could have gone out to supper."
"It's OK," I said. "I have class anyway, and afterwards I thought I might see Sweeney Todd."
Damn. I'd already told her I'd seen it. "I like it," I said lamely. The Chalicerelative is the sort of person who might well draw negative conclusions about the mental health of someone who willingly saw Sweeney Todd multiple times.
Instead, she sighed. "Your father loved that show."

While it's not accurate in the strictest biological sense to talk about my father in the past tense, for all intents and purposes, one might as well. Still, the Chalicerelative's words set off a chain of memories.

I don't know how young I was. Young enough to be comfortably held. And my father was saying, his voice that of someone delighting in telling a dreadful secret,
"Do you know what happens next? His friend Mrs. Lovett makes MEAT PIES!" I can remember my own childish squeal, then my father would roll out the words with Hestonesque vigor, "Meat pies made of PEOPLE."

When theCSO says that all my snuggly childhood memories sound like child abuse to him, this is probably what he's talking about.

Something in that movie really reaches out to me. Tim Burton often does. I saw the Corpse Bride three times and I love how his adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory really evoked the spirit of the book*.

My father doesn't leave his house when he can avoid it. But I'm still tempted to call up my parents and see if they'd like to catch a matinee.

So that's what I'm thinking about tonight.


*Yes, I know you love the 1971 version. Roald Dahl and I disagree.


Joel Monka said...

I actually like both versions, taken as different but similar stories.

Comrade Kevin said...

I haven't seen a movie in the theater since the summer. When I focus on other areas of my life, one of them inevitably suffers. Keeping up to date with movies is that one.

I have heard extremely mixed reviews about the film. Some people love it and some absolutely abhor it. I suppose I'll get around to seeing it eventually.

PG said...

Dahl was disappointed by the film adaptations based on his screenplay, but I don't think we can say he would have preferred Burton's adaptations, given that Dahl was long dead by then. I don't like Burton's version because it's too Oprah-ish -- adding in two-bit psychological explanation of Wonka's character. It's much further from the plot of the book than the 1971 version.

Chalicechick said...

Though I don't like the dentist bit either, I thought that the Burton version did a nice job of expanding Mike Teevee and Violet Bearegard in logical ways that were respectful of the source material. So that's kind of a draw in my head.

Also, I feel like the Burton version is much more faithful to the spirit of the book. When I first read the book, my impression is that it was the little-kid equivilent of one of those serial killer stories where people are picked off one-by-one.

The Burton version feels like this and the more saccharine 1971 version doesn't. (FWIW, Dahl's estate did like the Burton version better.)

Willie Wonka is supposed to be scary.