30 September 2008

6WH: Sep 30

Phantasm (1978) directed by Don Coscarelli
Like a good free verse poem. The film wanders wherever it wants -- fortune tellers, annoying kid brothers, finger flies, auto repair, evil dwarves, impromptu acoustical guitar performances, a dimensional spacegate -- but always returns to dreams and death. Characters can fall asleep in one reality and wake up in another. Characters alive in one reality are dead in the other. Coscarelli does this all without explanation, letting the story flow were it may in the manner of a dream. He knows what the rules of conventional storytelling are -- see Jim the Worlds Greatest -- and knows that throwing those rules out the window would be the coolest way of exploring a story about a kid dealing with his brother's death / an extra-dimensional entity stealing our dead to use as slaves.

It's all kind of like Bill Shakespeare says: "To die, to sleep; To sleep: perchance to dream: aye, there's the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come." (9/10)