Sunday, 1 November 2015

The Pied Piper

I've been listening to Donovan these past few weeks, and while I normally don't like my music so saccharine there are always exceptions. And so this afternoon, with an hour and a half to spare I sat down with The Pied Piper, Jacques Demy's 1972 film starring Donovan as the mysterious minstrel with the power of enchantment. Not exactly Horror fare for Halloween weekend but the film has much to enjoy - the stellar cast of British players, Demy's fluid direction, some terrific sets and costumes and a few interesting parallels with The Seventh Seal and more significantly, The Devils, which must have influenced the look of the film if nothing else. I thought it was interesting that the most sinister element of the tale - of the children being spirited away by a vengeful stranger was given a subtle benevolent twist by suggesting the piper was taking the children out of harm's way of the Black Death and John Hurt's character's plan to conscript Hamelin's children as soldiers to fight a war brewing in Italy. Interesting too was the final shot of the piper and the children effectively evaporating into the ether as dawn breaks over a pastoral meadow - a piper at the gates of dawn as it were...

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