Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Idea of Langoliers

     You hear often enough about where ideas come from, but where exactly do they go?  Or, more accurately, where does your memory of where they came from go?  I happened upon The Langoliers the other day, a TV movie based on Stephen King's novella from Four Past Midnight.  I hadn't seen it since its original airing in 1995, but watching it again, a gust of memory blasted out of a dusty, cobwebbed corner of my mind like someone had just opened a window in the attic.
     Much of The Langoliers is concerned with a group of people trapped in a familiar place (in this case an airport) that is somehow not quite right.  The signs of what is wrong (things have no taste, there is no smell, flame won't light things on fire) and what eventually proves to be different about the place had a fairly huge impact on me, I realize as I look back.  I never even read the original story, but the ideas in the filmed version stuck with me enough that I built a fairly pivotal segment of Those That Wake from similar building blocks.  That same idea (the Forgotten Places, as I call them in my book) has another crucial part in What We Become.  Incidentally, the Langoliers themselves are a momentously sinister and ghastly monster creation, though rendered in early and somewhat rickety CGI, as well as the most maniacal and lunatic performance of Bronson Pinchot's career (which makes for an odd selling point, I grant you).
     It's no big news that we form new ideas from ideas we experience.  I was just struck in this case how those ideas become a current in the giant ebb and flow of our personal rivers and, if we're lucky enough to stumble upon it again, how surprising it can be to rediscover the source.

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