The Dark Crystal at the Astor Theatre

All these years later, there's still no other movie like it 

Revisiting the beloved films of childhood is always a risky proposition. What if they’re too dated, too too twee, or kinda racist? But The Dark Crystal (1982) remains one of the Astor’s all-time most requested movies, and now it finally returns, remastered, to the big screen.

The Dark Crystal checks all the usual fantasy boxes – magical prophecies, chosen ones, et cetera – and it has its share of clumsy infobombs to introduce the serene, kindly Mystics; the decaying aristocracy of the Skeksis; and Jen, the sheltered Gelfing destined to save the world.

Soon, though, none of this matters. As directed by Muppeteers Jim Henson and Frank Oz, with jaw-dropping design work from Brian Froud, The Dark Crystal’s non-human world remains an astonishing achievement. Every creature, animal, and plant tells a story. Even if you haven’t seen them since childhood, you might be amazed at how much of this potent imagery has been buried in your memory, just waiting to be recalled.

And though the film’s theatrical release was made less dark and less strange than Henson originally intended, it’s still pretty damn frightening. Lobsterlike soldiers tear villages apart, adorable Podlings are tortured for their ‘essence’, and echoes of Yoda in the voice of Frank Oz’s scheming Skeksis Chamberlain only make him more disquieting.

The New York Times dismissed The Dark Crystal as just a “watered down J. R. R. Tolkien” back in ’82. But now Peter Jackson has transformed Tolkien into movies resembling epic ads for their own Xbox games, The Dark Crystal’s handcrafted world seems more truly fantastical than ever.

First published on . Updated on .

By Martyn Pedler   |  

The Dark Crystal at the Astor Theatre video

The Dark Crystal at the Astor Theatre details

The Astor Theatre


Address
1 Chapel St

St Kilda 3182

Transport
Nearby Stations: Windsor

Telephone 03 9510 1414

Price from $13.00 to $15.00

Date 13-19 Apr

Open Mon-Fri 7.30pm; Sat-Sun 2pm, 5pm & 8pm

The Dark Crystal at the Astor Theatre website

The Astor Theatre details

St Kilda area guide

The Astor Theatre map

Restaurants near The Astor Theatre

Two Lost Boys

253m - Justin Kony and Michael Almagor are kicking arse at the be-your-own-boss...

Mama Ganoush

258m - This Middle Eastern restaurant in Windsor isn’t strictly veg, but their...

Parlour Diner

295m - This Led Zeppelin playing, vintage-furniture-having burger house nails the...

Bars & pubs near The Astor Theatre

The Railway Hotel: Windsor

147m - The gang at The Railway Hotel know their audience well. They supply hoards...

Kid Boston

239m - While the rest of Melbourne star spangles itself stupid with USA inspired...

Boston Sub

398m - Throw your hands in the air for this new sandwich shop with concealed bar...

Other venues near The Astor Theatre

Red Stitch Actors Theatre

117m - A core group of professional actors and crew make up Red Stitch Actors...

Syber's Books

216m - Possibly Melbourne's kookiest book store, and definitely a contender for...

Fat Helen's

337m - Scrounge your way through all the second hand goods that Fat Helen’s has...

Readers' comments, reviews, hints and pictures

Community guidelines

blog comments powered by Disqus
 


© 2007 - 2014 Time Out Group Ltd. All rights reserved. All material on this site is © Time Out.