A couple years ago, a good friend and I were driving back to my place after having caught a screening of Spike Jonze' Where the Wild Things Are. Both of us were really impressed with Jonze' sorrowfully beautiful film--probably the best film I can think of about childhood depression--and our conversation quickly drifted towards recollections of other children's films that don't talk down to kids, treating them instead as they are: intelligent, emotional creatures capable of dealing with the kind of difficult subjects that most films made for kids tend to avoid.
I offered up Carroll Ballard's exceptional 1979 adaptation of The Black Stallion as an example of a sophisticated and respectfully made film for children; I saw the movie on the big screen as a young child and immediately latched on to its story of survival, triumph and sadness, probably more than any live action film before it. My buddy met my fond movie memory with his own: The Neverending Story. In that film the hero is told that "the Nothingness" is coming and there's nothing heavier than that idea--of everything being replaced by nothing. We both recalled having our minds blown by that one.
This Saturday afternoon, families can head on over to The Hollywood Theatre for a rare chance to catch that latter film on the big screen. Directed by Wolfgang Petersen, the 1984 kids' classic screens only once, so don't miss out! It sure beats getting dragged by your kids to the mall for a second or third go at The Lorax, right?
The Neverending Story has a single screening this weekend at the Hollywood Theatre on Saturday, March 17th at 2pm. More info available here.
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