(1/9/01 8:21:40 am)
I thought I'd start a post on film adaptations of fairy tales, folklore, and mythology (I imagine it will end up a long one!) since we've mentioned several peppered throughout various topics.
I recently went to a nearby video store to look for that video Midori mentioned about Donkeyskin, only to find out they were going out of business and selling everything! I bought THE ICE PRINCESS, starring Katerina Witt (sp?) and Roselyn Sumners (sp?). It's a contemporary adaptation of Cinderella, kind of flaky in many parts, with a focus on the forest, where coalburners live, that a baron is trying to buy and cut down. Beautiful skating (except for the head of security- no idea what he's doing on the ice- and a corny bit by Roselyn), but not the best acting.
Golan-Globus has done several films of fairy tales with celebrities:
The Frog Prince- with Aileen Quinn (she had the title role in the original film version of ANNIE)
Beauty and the Beast- with Rebecca de Mornay (?) and John Savage
Sleeping Beauty- with Morgan Fairchild
Red Riding Hood- with Isabella Rosellini and Craig T. Nelson (he plays twins)
I think they're all pretty good, B&B is my favorite.
Other films I've seen and enjoyed:
Polar Bear King
Fairy Tale Theater (large assortment of tales- I think one is the Emperor and the Nightingale with Mick Jagger!)
Into the Woods
Hmmm, I'm stuck at the moment for others. Hope to hear more favorites from others! Basically, anything filmed- televised events, ballet, opera, movies, etc.
Edited by: Kerrie at: 1/14/01
(1/9/01 3:16:35 pm)
|Re: Film adaptations|
I think my favorite version of Cinderella is "The Slipper and the Rose" staring Richard Chamberlain and Gemma Craven. An adaptation in some ways taking a lot of liberties with the story yet keeping the heart of it, I think. And, as has come up elsewhere on the board, it's interesting for its treatment of the prince as well. The point is made that, tough as Cinderella has it, the Prince has problems of his own, and in a very real sense they rescue each other.
Great lines, too, like. "I don't deserve this honor, Father."
"No one deserves this. I do it because I'm the king and I enjoy it."
(1/9/01 4:44:57 pm)
|Re: Film adaptations|
Hi, I haven't posted in a while because I was forced to plunge head first into the deep shark-infested lagoon that is grad school. (sigh)
Anyway, I just picked up "The 10th Kingdom" at the video store, and although I haven't seen the whole miniseries (it's a two-taper), I highly recommend it. I especially like Wolfie, who is the Uberwolf of Little Red, Three Little Pigs, Little Bo Peep, and various other wolf-tails, er, tales. If you have yet to see this series, and you are posting to this board, I cast a Baba Yaga curse on you. Its a little hard to describe, but the world of the movie is the world of After Happily Ever After (my favorite place to explore). The characters are the living legacies the great heros and heroines (Snow White, Cinderella, Gretl, Little Red, Jack of Beanstalk fame) have left behind. The movie gets a little made-for-t.v-esque at times (the comic relief of John Laraquette is both unfunny and unnecessary), but is otherwise an imaginative exploration of the world of fairy tales as an alterantive universe to our own world, where magic is as common place as science, and trolls have shoe fetishes.
Yeeesh! And I've only watched a third of it so far! Anyway, I also recommend "Arabian Nights" by the same filmamkers who did "The 10th Kingdom" (and "Merlin" and "Gulliver's Travels"). The visual affects are splendid, and the story of Scheherazade (sp.?) and her king is well portrayed. I also love the exploration of the idea of telling a story from the point of view of the storyteller: there are many points where the audience gets to SEE Scheherazade's imagination flickerthrough images, as though she were making up her stories on the spot. My other favorite image is of Aladin's Djinn weaving together a castle with a thousand arms. Delicious.
Finally, I have to mention "Snow White," featuring Sigourney Weaver as the Stepmother: A wonderfully dark and brutal retelling of the fairy tale that always have me the creeps the most. (Boar's Hearts, Omniscient Mirrors, Poisoned Apples, Dirty Dwarves, Glass Coffins...ugh!)
There you have it. RENT THE 10TH KINGDOM!
(1/9/01 8:25:02 pm)
|Re: Film adaptations|
I haven't seen it in many years,
but I loved The Company of Wolves, a retelling of Little
Red Riding Hood. Someone stole the only copy at the local Blockbuster
(I hate Blockbuster and must mention it every time I talk about
them) and I don't think that the library here has it. What I remember
most is the beautiful imagery in the film--even the grotesque scenes
were lovely. That and the line "Never get off the path,"
or something similar, said by the grandmother, played by Angela
Lansbury, which, it occured to me while watching it one time, is
pretty much the message of most horror stories, no?
It was directed by Neil Jordan and written by Angela Carter (story) and Jordan, according to the IMDB, but it doesn't look like it's still in print. If you haven't had a chance to see it and can find a copy, watch it.
(1/10/01 10:59:57 am)
|Wolves in absentia|
Yes, it seems that the film is no longer available anywhere--a great pity. I have the score, which is lovely all by itself, and our local video store still has their copy of it. Perhaps, as most things seem to, it'll come out again. Sooner or later someone has to put it on DVD if nothing else.
As for "10th Kingdom" and "the Arabian Nights" adaptations for TV, I confess I didn't watch them. I did like the Gulliver's Travels piece quite a bit; but then watched both "The Odyssey" (oops, we left out the Sirens) and "Merlin" (just bloody awful on so *many* levels), which put me off TV adaptations again. It sounds, though, as if "10th Kingdom" is very much a mixed bag.
(1/10/01 12:36:51 pm)
|Re: Wolves in absentia|
Oddly enough, it seems that the soundtrack is still available.
For another take on the same story, there's also Freeway,
which is an odd little movie.
They left the Sirens out of "The Odyssey?" But, I loved the Sirens.
Jeff (always crashing into the rocks)
(1/10/01 12:58:14 pm)
I haven't been on this board long enough to know how exactly you are defining fairy tales. A couple of films I like better than most tend more to the folklore... I really enjoyed "The Secret of Roan Inish" which uses a Selkie-sub story all the way through. (In fact, I was going to add to the favorite fairy tale topic before it went all Japanese - that the Selkie stories: both Celtic and Inuit are among my current favorites).
A new movie out called "Chocolat" is rather a modern fable that uses references to Mayan folklore. I don't know enough about south-of-the-border folklore to know if it is 'make up' for the movie or drawn from something older.
As for Cinderella, my daughter's two favorite varients on that story are "Ever After" with Drew Barrymore and the latest Disney musical adaptation, Roger and Hammerstein's Cinderella with Brandy and Whitney Houston. I didn't like that latter much (except for the sets -kindof psuedo Art Nouveau). I DID love the original Roger's and Hammerstein's soundtrack to that one, starring Julie Andrews. It was very tongue-in-cheek and light and frothy and FUNNY. Every version I've seen of that one since -either film or stage has taken itself MUCH too seriously. Kind of kills it....
Anyhow... :-) I really liked the first two.
(1/10/01 3:05:00 pm)
|Re: film adaptations|
I'm new on the board (I heard about this site from a friend) but I've been a lover of faery tales for as long as I can remember. And as for film adaptations, some of my favourite films are adaptations of faery tales.
First, I must agree on "Ever After". A lot of people thought it was trite or overly cheesy, but I loved it. The very concept of placing the Cinderella story in the Renaissance (a period that has fascinated me for years now) and making the character less of a follower and more of a young woman reasonably in charge of her own destiny certainly attracted me to the film.
Second, has anyone else here watched Jean Cocteau's "Beauty and the Beast"? I wrote a retelling of the story and sent it to a friend of mine, who told me I absolutely *had* to watch the film. And so I did, and fell madly in love. The story was the same as ever, but the visuals truly made the film. It was like stepping into Cocteau's dreamworld through Belle's mirror. I don't know how many other people felt this, but I was truly disappointed in the Prince and, upon reading Cocteau's diary on the film, he mentioned how he had intended to have that sort of effect. The Prince may have been prettier than the Beast, but those who watched the film (as well as Belle, herself) seemed curiously lacking in excitement when he appeared, for we had all grown so very fond of the Beast.
Oh well, now I'm rambling. But these were just my thoughts.
(1/10/01 3:11:08 pm)
Oooh, now I know I put my last post in the wrong place- sorry!
That version of Cinderella with Brandy and Whitney Houston was on
TV here a little while ago- I think it was Christmas night- but
I just couldn't bring myself to watch it!
My local video store actually has a copy of The Company of Wolves, but I still hate them!
Speaking of sirens, has anyone seen the new Coen Brothers' movie- "oh Brother, where art thou?". The "sirens scene" is rather wonderful, I think- "You and me and the Devil make three".
(1/10/01 4:35:35 pm)
|seconds and thirds...|
Ever After has got to be one of my favorite new adaptations. The strong character (and drew herself) greatly appeal to me. And it's just a beautiful film (where are my wings and walk-on-water shoes!?!).
Merlin....yuck. My mother bought it on a whim when it first came out and was taken by it making me watch it sure that I would also be mesmorized. Ummm, no. Not at all.
Gulliver's travels still entertains me as I periodically rewatch it.
Arabian nights is definitely worth the time to watch....it's beautifully put together. Not bad at all for a tv production. I certainly did not regret adding it too my home collection...although (and hopefully it's just my copy) the home video doesn't do the visuals and effects justice! It looked much better on T.V..
However....10th Kingdom...hmmm..mixed bag indeed. This one sucked me in and held me captive for the entire 390 minutes it ran through my player....ah...hrm. It's got several good points...but..but..but...was incredibly trumped up for tv and is hokey and cheesy enough to make me cringe repetitively.
laughter and glitter,
(1/13/01 7:26:25 am)
|fairy tale films|
My votes for favorites are with Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast and The Company of Wolves, but I have to admit that Ever After was a surprisingly sweet version of Cinderella.
(1/13/01 7:59:13 am)
I recall seeing a trailer for
"In the Company of Wolves" when I was in our local 'weird'
theatre seeing "Velvet Goldmine". I really wanted to see
it, but couldn't find anyone to go with me. Is it available at Blockbuster?
I absolutely loved the Alice-in-Wonderland-like imagery the trailer
And I'm still on the hunt for a reasonably cheap DVD of Cocteau's
"Beauty and the Beast". It's influenced so much of what
I've written that I do need a copy somewhere in my vicinity. *s*
(1/13/01 8:43:51 am)
Cocteau also did a fabulous film noir version of Orpheus and Euridice called "Orphee". It's set in the fifties and Orpheus is a jazz musician. Incredibly edgy and dark.
(1/14/01 4:30:15 am)
Does anyone know if Cocteau's film diary for the making of Beauty & the Beast is available in print? I've read excerpts from it (in Betsy Hearne's wonderful book on the history of the tale), and it looks great. I'd love to read the whole thing.
I'd like to mention the film Kundun here too, which is not a fairy tale -- it's a film based on the life of the Dalai Lama -- but has the grandeur and sweep of a great fantasy epic. I think it is quite simply the most magical film I've ever seen, as well as the most beautiful. It's one of those films you truly need to see on a large screen, however. It's power requires vast landscapes and skies which are much too diminished on a television box.
(1/14/01 12:08:46 pm)
Yes, it's available. Here's the link to to Amazon listing for it
if you want more info:
(1/15/01 7:10:03 am)
|O, Brother Where Art Thou|
The Coen Brothers film is indeed inspired stuff. I'm still reeling after seeing it, and would probably need to sit through it again to absorb it all: the otherworldly colors, the brilliant meld of Homer and The Wizard of Oz (anyone who isn't falling out of their seat when the KKK show up...what a clever and fantasy-driven way to send up the Klan!).
The Sirens are as strange and wonderful as they should be. The Baptists as Lotus Eaters... It just goes on and on. Great parallels to and deviations from Homer.
One thing that intrigued me is that the Coens name one character Waldrop. Now, about ten years back or so, Howard Waldrop, one of America's great and under-appreciated contemporary fantasy writers, wrote a book called A DOZEN TOUGH JOBS, which comprises the tales of Hercules transposed upon a similar Southern landscape to great comic effect (I recommend the book highly), and I can't help but suspect there was no coincidence in the use of that name, though it may be common in the South.
In any case, a film to add to your list if you have not seen it.
(1/15/01 8:21:53 am)
|Re: O, Brother Where Art Thou|
Waldrop isn't THAT common a name down here, so it may very well be a reference to Howard. Considering the other allusions that appear, it may even be likely. I'll have to check this one out.
(1/16/01 12:00:07 pm)
|Re: seconds and thirds...|
I agree about 10th Kingdom (although I still haven't found the time to finish watching it...) John Laroquette was just there to seduce the mainstream TV viewer who thinks sitcom humor is the epitome of comedy, but I have to admit I snickered a little when the Trolls were trying to score magic mushrooms off each other (LITERALLY Magic mushrooms) but had to settle for some "dwarf moss."
As for Cocteau's Orphee- I saw it recently on Bravo and smirked because I had just finished acting in a production of "Orpheus Descending"- featuring a lonesome jazz musician Orpheus in a small Southern town in love with the bride of death incarnate. I liked the Williams better.
(1/16/01 1:35:47 pm)
Yes, but did you get to pass through a mirror on the way to the underworld?
(1/16/01 4:42:10 pm)
I was told that the current movie Crouching Tigers, Sleeping Dragons was a must. Has anybody here seen it?
(1/16/01 5:54:07 pm)
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon has easily become one of my most all time favorite films. It's extraordinary--gorgeous and fabulous. I've been watching Hong Kong cinema movies for years, but this one is utterly awesome.