Labyrinth: the best bits

Such sad news to wake up to this morning. The world is in shock after hearing of the loss of music legend, creative genius and beloved hero, David Bowie. He was the face of British popular culture and a true artist.

I’m not usually one to talk about the death of a celebrity, and as much as I find it sad when any life is lost, I often don’t feel it as keenly as others clearly do. I’m feeling awfully sad today though, perhaps because of the shock of the news, and perhaps because of the incredible impact Bowie had on the music, film, art and fashion industries.

I’ve had the radio on lots as usual, and it’s been amazing to hear all the stories and tributes to Bowie, not to mention such a large sampling of his work. I remember thinking when I finally watched Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes a couple of years ago, about the huge expanse of his work and its influences on other artists. In fact, I just heard an interview with Michael Eavis, who put Bowie up there with Elvis and Sinatra, and I think he’s right when he says that there’ll never be anyone like him.

As a child of the early eighties, and like many of my peers, the film Labyrinth was my introduction to Bowie. Few films were watched half as often as this one in our home, the themes and ideas in it resonating throughout my childhood as well as in my own creativity. The Escher-inspired staircase… the twisted fairytale story… the outrageous, but somehow completely perfect costumes, hair and make-up… the beautiful but frightening masquerade ball… and of course, Bowie’s immaculate soundtrack…

And so, by way of a tribute, and to bring a smile at a sad time, I thought I’d share some of my favourite moments from Labyrinth….

“It’s a crystal. Nothing more. But if you turn it this way and look into it, it will show you your dreams. But this is not a gift for an ordinary girl who takes care of a screaming baby.”

Maybe this was the start of my love for all things shiny, hours spent in crystal shops and even longer spent trying (and failing) to master this trick….

 

“You remind me of the babe.”

“What babe?”

“The babe with the power.”

What power?”

The power of voodoo.”

Who do?”

You do.”

Do what?”

Remind me of the babe.”

Surely one of the most memorable introductions to a musical film scene ever…I defy anyone not to bop along to this track….

 

“I’ll paint you mornings of gold.
I’ll spin you Valentine evenings.
Though we’re strangers ’til now,
We’re choosing the path
Between the stars.
I’ll leave my love
Between the stars.”

This scene left such an impression on me that it became the basis for my first ever event design. I’d love to completely recreate it one day, the swagged chandliers, the golden clock, the haunting music and those magnificent but disturbing masks….

 

“Live without your sunlight.
Love without your heartbeat.
I…I..Can’t live within you.”

I think it’s probably true to say that the film was the start of my fascination with mazes and labyrinths… I always badly wanted Sarah’s wooden labyrinth game for myself, and was desperate to explore anything vaguely maze like as a child (and to this day). And it’s so perfectly fitting that the climax of the film, the end of our journey through secret passageways and hedged mazes, takes us to this thoroughly confusing and disorienting take on the Penrose Steps….

 

“Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City to take back the child that you have stolen, for my will is as strong as yours, and my kingdom as great —You have no power over me.”

Watching Labyrinth back as an adult, it’s always struck me how desperately serious and severe Sarah is…as a little girl though, it all seemed so perfectly matter-of-fact. And it’s with that same ardor that we lapped up this iconic scene, Bowie somehow resplendent in grey tights and metres of marabou, as our heroine wins the day. How could any little girl not dream of being in Sarah’s shoes?….

 

Now, I think I’ll have to go and watch the film in full….it’s been too long. Although you may like to know, if you don’t already, that BBC Radio 2 has cleared this evening’s schedule in tribute…. Simon Mayo’s show will feature an “All Request Bowie” slot, with Rick Wakeman as guest, then at 7pm Ken Bruce presents “Bowie at the BBC”, after which the station gives us another chance to hear “Bowie Live at Maida Vale”, recorded in 2002 and presented by Jonathan Ross.

Ems x

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Living for the weekend…… 1st and 2nd September 2012 in London

I’ve been making lots and lots of lists this week, in readiness for our move……and not just packing lists and furniture buying lists either. There are so many things I want to do and see before we leave London…..I’ve lived here for 12 years and still haven’t done everything I want to! But then I’m sure I could stay another 12 and still not get through the ever-increasing list! And we’ll not to be too far away, so I’m trying to cut myself a little slack and just make sure I get to as many things as is reasonable! There are a good few things on the list for this weekend of course, and lots of them things that are only on for a few days, so they get priority……

Kings Cross Ice Cream Festival

1st and 2nd September, 11am to 6pm

The Granary Building, Granary Square, Kings Cross

Free entry

This free, family friendly, two-day festival showcases the best ice cream makers in London and the South East and celebrates the history and production of ice cream in the region. Ice cream enthusiasts will learn about the history of ice cream and how it’s made, as well as having the chance to get involved with milking cows, making art, and making ice cream using the latest in nitrogen technologies.

Bowiefest

31st August to 2nd September

ICA, The Mall

Tickets from £10

You may well be as shocked as I am about this, but believe it or not, David Bowie is 65 this year and his seminal album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars is celebrating its 40th anniversary! And what a great way to celebrate the man of awesome….with the UK’s first film festival dedicated to David Bowie. The festival includes screenings, talks, Q&As, and is going to make for a truly unique event.

The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Medals

Until 9th September

The British Museum, Room 37

Free entry

As part of my quest to see every room at the British Museum this year, I popped into Room 37 this Monday and was very impressed with the mini-exhibition there. The display tells the story of the production and design of the medals for the London 2012, including details on the mining of the metal by Rio Tinto, the process of the designs by David Watkins and Lin Cheung, and the fascinating production by the Royal Mint. As usual, the British Museum goes the extra mile by giving historical context for the medals in the shape of 19th and 20th century objects highlighting the longstanding links between Britain and the Olympic and Paralympic movements.

Regent Street Festival

Sunday 2nd September, 1pm to 8pm

Regent Street

Free

Head to Regent Street this Sunday for the thirteenth annual Regent Street Festival. Expect eentertainment on the street itself, as well as in-store activities and discounts. The restaurants in the food quarters, Heddon Street and Swallow Street, are also serving special menus and cocktails to boot, and you can keep up to date with everything going on using the Living Regent Street app on your iPhone.

Liberty Festival

1st to 3rd September

Various locations

Free entry

As part of the Mayor of London events for 2012, Liberty Festival offers Londoners the chance to watch the world’s top deaf and disabled performers and artists from the UK and beyond. At venues ranging from the Southbank Centre, BT London Live in the park, the BFI and Potters Fields at More London, you can see comedy, theatre, film and music events, as well as watch the coverage of the Paralympic Games.

The 39 Steps

Criterion Theatre, Picadilly

Special offer tickets from £20

I wouldn’t usually single out one show as a must-see in one of my weekend ideas posts, but I saw this for the second time last night and I just think it’s an unbeatably good night out. Start with a pre-theatre dinner at the stunning Criterion Restaurant (just £19 for two courses on the their set menu, which is packed with seasonal and ethically sourced produce as well as home made bread and butter!), then head just next door to the theatre to see this brilliant show….. Hitchcock’s classic spy thriller, The 39 Steps, has been cleverly and hilariously adapted for the stage, and has won the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy to prove it. With a brilliant cast of just four, the story is acted out using wittily chosen props which imagine up the dozens of settings. It’s fast paced, intelligent, and super funny…..and with special offers on tickets with Time Out, there’s no excuse to miss out!

I hope that’s inspired you! Have a fab weekend!

Ems x