‘Dark Crystal’ (1982) Film Review

April 25, 2023

Mr. Jim Henson portrays a terrifically fantastical storyline which echoes in a way which is accessible to pre-adolescence yet reverberates with the story of the Exodus – the idea of the physical liberation of people from unjust affliction. The necrosis of a world bent towards a social order of dominion, of absolute power over others, is necessarily in opposition to those who are rightfully declared as mystics, who seek the freedom of the mind and its grant to be at peace with the world and its eternally incessant movements – be it the endlessly imaginary creatures tastefully sampled in the film, or with the modesty of enjoying one’s perfect innocence guided by those who truly love your being.


This film is wordlessly the collision, the fight, the struggle of cosmic life in giving good counsel or ill. Of living towards a necessary universe of life-giving and not desolation through never-ending power struggles. For grasping at total authority for the very sake as a form of happiness. That this experience is desired and realized by many in our own society gives us a thrilling idea of This-Worldliness and the false paths people will themselves into enjoying, however vain the physical experience is, of physical force.


It is in this conglomeration of moral corruption – for who enjoys being robbed of their mind’s freedom to extend itself according to its own principled desires? – which makes this film pedagogical, in the cosmic fine-tuning of a climactic “judgment”, of the mystical beings helping fulfill the prophesy of a humble Gelfling named Jen pursuing the goal of best. Of returning a broken sharded crystal to its source, ending the period of hell-bending. For what is hell but the constant battle for supremacy over another, in gratifying oneself with possessing the vulnerability of another for one’s amusement?


The perfectly innocent lack the awareness of such moral probabilities. This, the teacher, UrSu the master, has safely guided the young Gelfling away from. And thus, Jen has has a purity to his heart, that free-movement of spontaneous and necessarily passionate desire, towards swaying the rational evaluation, that of conscience, away from injuring others. Away from cloudiness, from the less than perfect extension onto an infinitely moving universe.


It is impressive to note Ancient Semitic Literature’s undertones of righteousness, justice, and kindness as it faces the objective outward appearance of evil: of restlessly taking at all costs. This principle forms evil motion as it interacts necessarily with the outside world and the world’s own mechanical cycling towards its cosmic fulfillment – unbeknownst to those so saturated with ultimately selfish goals of best experience within it. That children can appreciate the lowliness and desperation of hoarding physical force at all costs, that the most invisible of life-forces, the smallest of spirits, can destroy evil motion – the hereditary moment of possibilities of evil choices – must be appreciated.


The film is not actually that scary, other than it is an emulation of “This-Worldly” goals, false beliefs on the actual ordering of things. The Dark Crystal will be an eternal memory, inter-generationally, of a World long gone as the mirror planet enters into its own World to Come.





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