Friday, January 6, 2017

Dark's Pandemonium Carnival Flier

Brian Sibley brings us this scan of the carnival flier created for 1983's "Something Wicked This Way Comes".  It was apparently given to attendees of media screenings for the original release of the film.


CoastConFan said...

Outstanding find! I didn’t know this broadside existed. It would make a nice piece of ephemera in a photo collage or supporting a prop.

The film, Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) is of course based on the book by Ray Bradbury of the same name, published in 1962. It is book two of what came to be called the Greentown Trilogy: Dandelion Wine, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and Farewell Summer. I haven’t read the last, so I’ll have to pick up a copy. SWTWC has a long creation back story, which a little Googling around will turn up the specifics. There is also a rare tome of short stories called, Dark Carnival, published in 1947. Interestingly, it is his first book and was published by Arkham House. Some of those short stores were reprinted in October Country in 1955. Check out the differences between the book and the film some time.

The film holds up well but there are some interesting ways to think of this classic. Look at it in contrast with another circus themed book, The Circus of Dr. Lao (1935) written by Charles G. Finney and the much later movie, 7 Faces of Dr Lao (1964). Contrast Dark’s Carnival of the fall with Dr Lao’s carnival of hope and redemption. Both are places of brittle illusion and harsh truth, but it’s what you make of these components is what makes the difference in your worldview. Interestingly, Circus of Dr Lao takes place chronologically about the time that Something Wicked occurs, the 1930s.

As long as we are having fun with carnival movies, consider also The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus (2009), for a new level of complexities of the idea that carnivals are reflections, distortions, and alternate views of ourselves. In additionally to the fact that the star dies during the filming of the movie, Heath Ledger, which demanded some interesting slight of hand of the part of Terry Gilliam. Consider renting all three movies listed and watch them in release order. Since there are miserable weather conditions throughout most of the US this weekend, it would be a nice diversion for the home-bound viewer.

Finney wrote a number of other books, some not well known

So much for a quick comment or two.

Graham said...

That is a remarkable find. I watched that one a long time ago. It definitely had some moments even if as I recall it was hard to figure out just what was going on at the end.

Poeboy7 said...

I never heard that the fliers were handed out at press screenings. They were, however, handed out to ME during the filming of the carnival parade sequence at which I was a guest of Ray Bradbury. Printed on tissue paper in three pastel shades -- yellow, pink, and blue -- I have all three. I also have one signed by Bradbury and various cast members. And, last but not least, Ray gave me a prop from the carnival set -- a bottle of Dark's Youthful Elixir. Cool or what?