What's On? 07.09.17
I was around 14 when I fell in love with the works of Stephen King. There was one particular summer when I picked up my older brother's copy of It, a book I knew he adored. It should have taken me weeks but I finished it in around four days, and I'm not a fast reader. A day or so afterwards I started on another of King's classics, the post-Apocalyptic The Stand and was similarly hooked. In a different way, I fell in love with King's book of short stories, Nightshift, which included so many classics like Children of the Corn and Quitters Incorporated. But It is probably the one that I recall as being unlike anything I've read before, and not just for the fear factor, of a clown terrorizing a small town periodically, like a comet of sinister and malevolent intentions. Within the eight hundred or so pages was the tiniest depiction of a cosmic essence, contained within some kind of space turtle, described in the coolest, laid-back abstract way - the story's cosmic binary dabbed in the background. I doubt the film will return to this aspect, much like Tom Bombardil will probably never be included in an adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. Yet it underlines to me the depth of King's creation; we're not just talking monsters. It is about growing up, then returning to your childhood memories as an adult. As someone who's just recently transitioned, my relationship to my past is one filled with ambiguity and affection. Perhaps it's the same for all of us. Has anyone ever achieved the adulthood they dreamed of? Are we all as jaded as the adult characters in Stephen King's It?
Well anyway, the film has appeared, several decades after my childhood reading. Now it's my turn to revisit it, and in doing so, remember the kind of teenager I was then, and I wonder what the teenage me would think if they saw me now.