After her parents are killed, a young girl is sent to London to live with her uncle and his family. Her uncle, who is a toymaker, secretly has the power to make his toys come to life, but ...
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After her parents are killed, a young girl is sent to London to live with her uncle and his family. Her uncle, who is a toymaker, secretly has the power to make his toys come to life, but he also maintains dictatorial control over his family and intends to exercise the same control over the new arrival.Written by
Like "blackriverfalls" in Leeds, England, I, too, have been in search of a copy of The Magic Toyshop for the past 15 years. The movie, back in 1987, had a run in a tiny, now-defunct art-house cinema just off the University of California campus in Berkeley. I remember the movie receiving glowing reviews in the local free alternative presses.
The Magic Toyshop has left an indelible impression in my brain. Yes, the story is bizarre, disturbing, perverse, and sexually discomfiting; but that is the nature of Angela Carter's artistry. Her's is a world in which mythology, fairy tale, and childhood innocence meld and clash with the sometimes magical, sometimes perversely ugly reality of adult consciousness. The Magic Toyshop encapsulates the violence inherent in the confrontation of the adults' and children's worlds into a succinct cinematic package. Scene upon surrealistic scene vividly and lushly convey the romantic dreaminess of childhood and the tight rigidity of contrived adulthood.
A few years after its brief visit to the Bay Area, The Magic Toyshop was in rotation on the Bravo arts cable channel. I managed to make a VHS recording of The Magic Toyshop. The quality is poor, but luckily this was recorded before Bravo had to fall to running commercials, so my copy of the movie has no breaks. I hope I still have my VHS copy, because it seems that, despite the death of Angela Carter and the continued interest in her literary work, the movie The Magic Toyshop may exist as ephemerally as the memory of a persons's first cherished toy.
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