Dreams of Insects, Beasts, and Beauties

This is a piece I love from a favorite film soundtrack- I love the film itself, too. I watched it a lot in high school, and just watched it again recently after a long absence. It holds up very well, and the insane practical effects are still impressive (and intensely but delightfully gross). I miss practical effects. In the opening scene at the party, I always wondered why Geena Davis’ character was so dismissive and caustic with Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) at first. I immediately recognized Jeff Goldblum from The Right Stuff, when he was half of one of the funniest character duos in any film. From that first viewing, I thought right away that this Seth Brundle was attractive- funny, smart, odd, sweet, appealing- that is, until his genetic material went all to hell after an ill-timed night of drunk insecurity…but I can understand that.

…Years later, the story still comes off as more of a romantic tragedy than a monster movie to me, even though it succeeds wildly as a monster movie. It’s both, like Brundlefly. There are also notes of fairy tales in the bouquet. Monster movies are shadows of fairy tales. I still get quite sad during the last scene as Seth Brundle’s end plays out, it’s wrenching.

And the music throughout is so good; this was the first time I noticed Howard Shore’s name in movie credits, or at least this was when I learned his name. He’s done some gorgeous film scores. This one perfectly captures the heartbreaking tension, the beauty of moments of love and wonder that contrast with the growing sense of fear, then terror, and then tragedy. Another favorite of mine from his list is the Ed Wood score. Seeing that in a theater full of art students who were avoiding working on projects was a great experience.

According to the director commentary, the finned design of the telepods was based on the look of the carburetor of Cronenberg’s Bugatti motorcycle. I noticed yours has the same type of design, the telepod carburetor.

Over the weekend I also watched Jean Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast, which I haven’t seen since my History of Film class in college (where I also learned about Cocteau’s interesting party trick ; ). I had forgotten so much about this film, and it was so very beautiful. Recommend. Forgive the greyed-out quality of these shots of my tv, the Criterion channel’s print is pristine.

“War makes fascists of us all”:

Yes, I would like to know more.

I love you.



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