Sunday, July 24, 2011

Weekend Cinema Spotlight: Freaks!

"We accept you, one of us! Gooble Gobble!"

As I was pondering what this Weekend's Cinema Spotlight choice was going to be I ended up thinking of quite a few but "Freaks" really stuck by me. I reconsider posting because I said to myself, "Save this movie for Halloween!", but with more thought I realized the people in this movie weren't monsters-they were people just like you and me. The biggest difference between them and us is that when they were born they were given a body that was a bit different than the average person.

Some people are born with visible deformities such as smaller or larger features, midget size or giant size, without limbs or with extra limbs. Either way they were people like you and I. So I choose "Freaks" because its the kind of movie you wouldn't be able to make today. Also its the kind of film that shocks you and just literally blows your mind away.

There are also beautiful aspects to this film-such as romance, friendship, dedication, loyalty, kindness, and bravery. Someone might overlook this film because they might assume its about freak show people being well---Freaks. That's when you have to stop judging the book by its cover---look and listen beyond what your eyes see and then you will be able to see so much further than you ever imagined!

How many of us judge who a person is based on what they look like? I think on some level its a normal part of being human but I also think that if you are aware of that within yourself then you would stop yourself and give that person a chance.

Before the film "Freaks" begins they have a forward that plays at the very beginning. The clip above is worth watching/reading.

The film trailer for "Freak"  (1932)

The cast of the film "Freaks" were all spell-binding. I cannot imagine how much courage it must have taken them to know that they would be viewed by others as freaks of nature, but then again most of them worked in sideshows and in the circus so I suppose they might have been used to it. From my perspective, when you're born with something that is seemed different to mainstream society you become acutely aware of especially if gets in the way of doing normal day-to-day activities.

Imagine not having an arm. I mean if you're born that way then it's normal for you but when you are around others who have two arms you are aware that you are the only one armed person in the room.

I wonder how these actors must have felt. Some of them weren't even actors-they were just sideshow exhibits. Very politically incorrect these days hence why this film could have never been made in our time-ever!

The main characters were named Frieda and Hans who were actually brother and sister in real life. They were a part of The Doll Family performers.
The Doll Family
Harry played "Hans" and Daisy played "Frieda"

 In the film they are romantically involved but when a trapeze artist by the name of Cleopatra, played by Olga Baclanova, discovers that Hans is actually wealthy she plots to marry him and become a widow as quickly as possible.

The clip above is of the infamous wedding feast where Hans and Cleopatra celebrate their marriage with his sideshow friends--his family. Angeleno who is played by, Angelo Rossitto, sings a bewitching and sort of eerie song welcoming Cleopatra to their fold.  After realizing that they were making her one of them, she retaliated by revealing her affair with Hercules played by, Henry Victor, and she throws the celebratory cup of wine in Angeleno's face! Hans was mortified but stays with her. Sometime later he realizes that she is trying to poison him and then the freaks gather together to exact their revenge!! (Cue in some eerie music!!)

Prince Randian played The Living Torso

I couldn't find any clips of the actual ending of this film but its worth watching the whole movie and getting to know these incredible characters and watch these amazing people bring them to life.

Warning: the ending is shocking and if you read the end of the Wikipedia link to "Freaks" that I posted above then you will know what the ending is but seeing it is truly believeing! I mean I am an avid horror movie fan but this will blow you away! It does it to me every time!

Its important to remember that there was a time in history when people who looked different as they did were considered scary and only fitted to be seen in  sideshows.

It's also important to remember how one must feel if they are stared at because they are older, are a young mother, a homosexual couple holding hands, a white husband with a black wife, or someone in a wheelchair. It doesn't matter who they are--people really don't like being stared at. Well unless they like that kind of attention lol Its okay to look but look with a smile of kindness and always remember to celebrate differences.

These freaks accepted who they were and made the most of their lives as best they could. We could all learn from that, couldn't we?


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