Thursday, October 05, 2006

The truth, and something besides the truth

Look what Norman brought over last night! It's already been added to the Halloween program schedule; now we just have to block out four hours to watch the whole thing. This luscious made-for-TV movie aired in the early 70s, and I caught it one Saturday afternoon when I was a kid. I'd never seen such beauty as Jane Seymour's! I'd never known that Frankenstein's creature was so soulful! I'd never experienced such a thrilling, icy climax! Frankenstein: The True Story was one of three films (the others, titles unknown, concerned a murderous monk with a bullwhip and mushrooms with plans for world domination) that I'd occasionally talk about tracking down and seeing again someday. Well, Sean found a used video of this flick a few years ago, and he and Curtis and I watched it one winter afternoon. (A grey and windswept weekend afternoon really is the best time for viewing such things.) The movie had been edited down from its nearly four hour running time to about an hour and a half, and it was practically incoherent. The only unambiguous thing about it was the homoerotic subtext which, due to the editing, now seemed to be the raison d'etre for the whole enterprise. In fact, when I told Curtis that Norman had scored this beautiful, pristine new DVD release, he said, "Hey, wasn't that movie really gay?" Yes. Yes it was, and I can't wait to see it again.

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