It’s happening. The NeverEnding Story is becoming a chore. It’s boring. It’s what I’d rather not be doing. It’s drudgery. The film I love so much is losing its luster. The only thing that still excites me is the climax. As soon as Atreyu walks into the Ivory Tower and faces the Childlike Empress, I perk right up. Here is some compelling acting. Sure, Noah Hathaway breaks my heart every time Artax sinks into the Swamps of Sadness, but when the Childlike Empress looks right into the camera and pleads, “Save us,” I melt.
Right into your heart.
Tami Stronach plays her part like a pro, which is impressive since she went on to become a dancer and stayed out of Hollywood. As soon as she’s onscreen, I begin quoting along with the movie. Her cadence and tone make the character. The Childlike Empress is what keeps me going. Which, I realize, is what keeps Bastian and Atreyu going, too. Whoa. Good on ya, Tami.
Since I’ve been so bored by my viewings in April, I often spent time trying to find new pieces of trivia since I feel like I’m the world expert on The NeverEnding Story. In an effort to find the German release, I found a sweet website that showed the German and US versions with frame-by-frame comparisons. I also uncovered information that there was a 2003 Collector’s Edition release of the film in Europe. What the hell, Warner Bros.? Where’s my US release?! It has a special cover and everything. I’m considering purchasing a region-less DVD player just for this.
Still no dreams. Still no unintentional quoting, either. I mostly want to not be thinking about this movie, so I just don’t. It hasn’t permeated every pore of my being or anything like that. It’s just a nuisance to deal with once a week. Like a pet.
I have been actively avoiding anything supplemental to this project. No extra reading, especially. Grimm’s Fairy Tales will have to wait. So will Wolfgang Petersen’s collected films. I just can’t take anything German right now.
April has really tested my commitment. There have been a few times that I thought I had missed a viewing and was secretly happy that I could leave the project and not have to watch The NeverEnding Story ever again. But I’m determined, at this point, to see this thing through. The upcoming summer months will make it hard to commit to 92 minutes inside, too. I don’t want to think about Falkor while I’m at the beach.
I had also hoped that watching The NeverEnding Story with people would help. It doesn’t. I just smile and nod at anything they point out or comment on because I’m trying not to blurt out, “Really!? I hadn’t noticed,” while throttling them like Bart Simpson. It’s like they’re needling me on purpose. Did I see that thing in the background? Sure did. Is that a model? Yes, and it looks awesome. You think Falkor is a creeper? Agreed.
Cameo by Emilio Estevez? Plausible.
May will also probably be a trudge. I may have to enlist the help of my fellow Cinemanauts since they endured this experiment last year and are far better prepared than I. Solidarity or something. I’ll just have to keep holding out for the Childlike Empress to make my viewings endurable.