Friday, November 4, 2011

Best of Henson

Of course pretty much everyone from my generation has a great reverence for Jim Henson. We grew up watching Sesame Street, moved on to the Muppet Show, and watched Labyrinth and the Dark Crystal so many times that huge swaths of our population have memorized the dialogue. Henson's creativity was legendary and his mastery of television has influenced everything that came afterward.

What's interesting is that in the years since his death, no one has come close to claiming his niche. I can't think of a single popular artist today who speaks to children and adults with such equal fluency, and whose work has such huge commercial appeal without ever being trite, saccharine or downright mercenary. We all knew Henson was unique at the time - it's looking more and more like he was true genius.

Starting tomorrow, November 5, the new SIFF Cinema at the Uptown is celebrating the work of Jim Henson by screening including the three original Muppet films, the fantasy classics The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, and eight different collections of classic shorts featuring from The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, and rarities from the Henson vaults.

The series runs through November 22, and the full schedule is available here.

And if you haven't seen this in a while, it's a perfect moment to re-visit Henson's 1966 short film Time Piece. Brilliant, anti-authoritarian, and not a single muppet. Enjoy.

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