mintyalice

Posts Tagged ‘Roald Dahl’

The Best of Roald Dahl

In Short Stories on December 27, 2004 at 2:39 am

bestdahl.jpgThe Best of Roald Dahl
by Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl is the author of my favorite book from childhood Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the book that wonderfully wicked children film The Witches was based on. I didn’t know he’s also famous for writing short stories for adult. This volume collects 29 stories from his career spanning from 1940s-1980s. They are mostly wicked stories about grotesque people and horrifying scenarios that are also disturbingly humorous. Most of the stories have nasty twist endings, I have to fight urges not to cheat by skipping ahead. Most are not big-bang type of surprises, but subtle and creepy revelations. He’s amazing in building up suspense and tantalizing the reader Hitchcock-style: we knew something is not right but the characters were unaware of the danger they’re heading onward. That’s why it’s a thrilling ride, like watching a train wreck and how human failings (greed, lust) lead to their own demises. A lot of the stories also have the “story within a story’ structure.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Witches (1990)

In Film on August 23, 2004 at 10:39 am

witches.jpg

My goodness this is one nasty movie: so grotesque and scary for a children’s film…so good! It’s just surprisingly well done all around: excellent dark British humor, amazingly real makeup and special effects, and it featured Rowan Atkinson ;). It is based on a book by the wonderfully twisted Roald Dahl, directed by Nicolas Roeg, special effects by Jim Hensen. Story is simple: an orphan boy and his grandmother stayed at a hotel where a convention for ‘Women Against Cruelty For Children’ organization is held. But it was actually a disguise for a witch convention where witches from all over England met with their leader, the Grant High Witch (played brilliantly by Anjelica Huston). These witches are very normal looking except for these traits: there are errie purple glow in the eyes, square feet, and constantly scratching their head because they wear wigs to cover their hairless head. They schemed a grand plan of putting this new drug at candies that can turn children into mice.

Read the rest of this entry »