(1/16/01 8:21:10 pm)
|Tigers and Brothers|
I saw Crouching Tiger the other day and I agree with Midori that it is definitely a must see.
Thanks for the reference, Greg. I'll check it out.
(1/17/01 7:06:47 am)
It is a beautiful movie, I liked it a lot, but I wouldn't have said it was the best film of the year. I'm still scratching my head over the ambiguous ending, which felt as if it had been pasted in from some other movie.
I've watched and loved a lot of Hong Kong cinema ("Mr. Vampire" & "Chinese Ghost Story" still rank at the top of my list); but this is worth seeing if only for the wonderful wire work in the bamboo forest.
(1/17/01 5:25:34 pm)
|Orfeu Negro etc|
For those who liked Cocteau's Orphee, have you seen Camus' Orfeu Negro? Won at Cannes in 1959, has a soundtrack that was largely responsible for popularizing Bossa Nova. It's a retelling of the Orpheus/Eurydice tale set in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro, I believe) during Carnival. Visually enchanting - and I use that word deliberately.
I liked Ever After too, with the exception of Drew Barrymore. Not that I don't like Drew - I do, I do, I do like Drew (feeling Seuss-ish). But her accent was painful, and her acting not at its best. It was a poor casting choice. But I own the movie, so evidently it doesn't bother me that much.
The Secret of Roan Inish, based on Selchie tales, and another movie featuring a horse named Tir n'a Nog (I'm not certain whether this was also the title or not) are two marvelous examples of Britain's folklore piercing the cloud of modern, working class/poor British life. The former is set in a fishing village in Scotland; the latter begins in a large Irish city, centering on the Travelers.
Anyone else here a Legend fan? Early Tom Cruise, Tim Curry - Faery rather than Fairy Tales in this one. I love the darkness of it, and the eerie soundtrack by Tangerine Dream.
(1/17/01 6:54:40 pm)
Ah, yes. I love LEGEND, think
it's Tom's best work! (Ok, so I'm a fool for a guy with long hair
and a sword!) I was so obsessed with the film in the late 80s/early
90s that I drew Lily's necklace as close as I could and gave it
to my jeweler dad to make. Not the same, but I've had lots of compliments
on it. I also used "The Blue Room" from the soundtrack
for a lesson plan I did in college along with "As the World
Falls Down" from LABYRINTH and Peer Gynth Suite's "Morning."
I had the hardest time discerning Tim Curry under all that make-up
and voice changers, but after listening to FERN GULLEY and ROCKY
HORROR enough, I can find a glimpse of him. But LEGEND, ah, that
is such a magical film, while I love all of it, my favorite parts
are the lighter ones- the fields, the slant of the light in the
woods, that crystal clear lake he dives into, the costumes, I could
go on and on! I also love LABYRINTH, borrowing from the fairy tale
worlds a young woman holds dear and making it real. (Ok, so I can
identify a bit too much, or at least I want to identify.)
(1/17/01 7:44:35 pm)
AH, the legendary Legend. This is one of my all time favorite movies. I can sit and watch it over and over again completely content. There are many layers (I saw the last two posts liking the dark/light). I love OOona...a few of my favorite parts....when Oona is running through the hall towards the door way....when Sarah is dancing with the dress.....when the unicorn is falling and the blossoms are everywhere..and the seasons change and the sky is in turmoil....Oh I just want to keep on adding 'favorite parts'. *laughs*...Overall it is a wonderful and enchanting experience.
Casting was great! Tim Curry is indeed a legend himself and always plays such interesting roles (ah, thinking fondly back to my school production of 'Rocky Horror'...mmm..what fun!). Tom...this is just another proof at what a chameleon he is. He is not one of my favorite actors....but he is a damn fine example of his profession....'acting'. I love the intro to Interview with a Vamp where Anne apologizes to Tom....and has anyone seen Magnolia?..What a crazy part...he does it well. My mother actually did not recognize him in Legend....she kept looking at him wierd (this was just last year after she'd already seen it a million times) and finally remarked to me that he sure looked familiar but that she couldn't place him, boy did she feel silly! There are soooo many actors/actresses out there who fall into the 'part casting' rut and play the same thing over and over again. If they can only show us one character then why are they paid to 'act'. Hrmm...Mia Sarah...I know I've seen her in a few other things, but in this role she shines.
love and light,
Oh and I recently got around to watching Cocteau's B&B and it was GREAT! I'm not much on subtitles....and wish I could have payed more attention to the imagery (splendid) but I most definitely enjoyed watching it.
Also, I watched 'Secret of Roan Inish(is this right? OH bother you get the drift *l*)' just after it first came out and was impressed with it. It was a sweet movie and stayed with me for some time.
I recently recorded 'Sweet Hereafter' off the tele but haven't gotten to watch it yet. I remember someone recommending it before.
(1/20/01 10:58:28 pm)
|The Snow Queen|
I remember watching a beautifully drawn animated version of The Snow Queen on tv when I was six. It was amazing, enchanting, enthralling - I didn't want to leave the tv! It was also quite frightening in places. I've often wanted to watch it again, but I don't know what production to look for. After all, I'm recalling something I saw 36 years ago! For all I know, it's not nearly as good as I remember. I did a bit of searching on line recently and I'm wondering if it's the one introduced (or was that narrated?) by Art Linkletter.
I also remember an excellent animated version of The Little Mermaid that I saw on tv when I was 10 (1973). It was more finely drawn than the Disney version and it was true to the Andersen story. Not a happy ending at all.
Someone mentioned the Beauty and the Beast movie with Rebecca de Mornay - I remember that! Saw it in 1985. It was quite good, though Rebecca de Mornay (and just about everyone else in the cast) sang and perhaps shouldn't have.
And even though the Disney Beauty and the Beast tends to annoy me, I still like it enough to own it and watch it from time to time. Usually selectively - I'll watch, for example, "Be Our Guest" over and over while skipping over other parts. (Those dancing dishes crack me up.)
Has anyone ever done a good live action version of The Snow Queen? I think that story could make a wonderful movie. Who would you cast in the various roles if you could play casting director?
(1/21/01 8:23:41 am)
My favorite film, before I could even read, was "The Snow Queen: On Ice." We taped it off the tv, and Dorothy Hamill skated the part of Gerda. I have no idea whether it's possible to find this anymore, but Colleen, you asked if there were a good live-action version - that's one good one. Not cheesy with ridiculous costumes and lighting, but done in such a way that you don't realize they're on a rink. Elaborate sets, good camerawork, etc.
(1/21/01 12:14:42 pm)
|Snow White with Sigourney Weaver|
If you haven't seen this and are interested - I just saw an ad on the SciFi channel for it. They're showing it this coming Wednesday, I believe they said 8:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific. (It's probably better to rent it and see it with no commercial breaks but tv is better than nothing.) It's definitely a dark version of the fairy tale! Very creepy.
CoryEllen, thanks for mentioning the Dorothy Hamill version of Snow Queen. I don't remember that - you'd think I would, I was in junior high when she won her gold medal and thought she was wonderful. I even cut my hair like hers (a mistake on my part!). Do you know when this version was aired and does anyone know if it's available on video?
(1/21/01 7:15:16 pm)
|Re: Crouching Tiger|
WARNING: SPOILER BELOW!!!!!
I agree with Greg on this one: Crouching Tiger was visuallly spectacular, but I felt like a lot of the movie spent on exposition, explaining the relationship btween Chow Yun Fat and (I forget the older woman's name). I didn't feel that it was telling a story so much as being a preview to the REAL movie. Of course, my experience was marred because I had the dumb luck of sitting next to a typical Ohio State Frat Jock who squirmed impatiently through the subtitles grumbling LOUDLY "I came to SEE a movie, not READ a movie..." and muttering (only at a higher volume than usual muttering) "Bulls**t!" Whenever the magical fighters flew off of buildings. If it had been Star Wars, would he have called the Jedi fighting techniques bull droppings? Oh, yeah, and THEN, whenever there was extended dialogue instead of an action sequence, the dork had the gall to say "Ching-chong, ching chong," mocking the Chinese language. All I wanted to do through the entire movie was give him a Judo kick to the head. My poor boyfriend had to physically hold me back from starting a brawl with this jerk.
Sorry. Had to vent. But, yeah, the movie was good, but it wasn't spectacular. I love Asian films, my favorites being Kirasowa's "Ran" (based on King Lear) adn "Farewell my Concubine" These are examples of great stories that go beyond culture.
(1/22/01 6:13:14 am)
|Horrible Crowds at movie theatres|
I wasn't there when my friend saw "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (I have yet to see it), but he was complaining about the crowds as well. If you really want to see it in a good environment, see it at the Drexel theatre. I'm serious. The crowds there are just *so* much better, and you won't run into any of the drunk jocks on a Friday night. True, it's far away, but the No. 2 bus will get you there in about 20 minutes.
I'm trying to get up a trip to see "Quills" there on Saturday or so...it's my birthday this weekend, so it's a movie/show weekend again for me! Exciting!
(1/22/01 4:02:33 pm)
|Date for Hamill's Snow Queen|
I carbon-date my memories by where I was living at the time. Since I was in Extreme Upstate New York in the Yellow-Then-White House, it must have been around 1983-1985. If you find it, let me know, I'd love to hunt down another copy.
(1/23/01 10:15:31 am)
My sympathies on your movie experience. Nothing like paying $7-8 to listen to nitwits. There should be some sort of entrance exam for some films that blocks all room-temperature IQs from getting in. We could probably start a topic on what our fantasy punishments for idiots in movie theatres might be. Which will no doubt lead to a new psychological disorder, labeled "Movie Rage."
(1/23/01 5:15:02 pm)
|Re: Film adaptations|
Although it's not really a fairy tale film per se, _My Neighbor Totoro_ by Miyazaki is a fantastic film with this feel. I suppose it is, after a fashion, since it is based in Japanese folk beliefs in kami, or spirits. If anyone is unfamiliar with the tale, I'll gladly summarize. Do yourself a favor and see it -- it's the most adorable movie ever! It's become one of my favorites, along with _The Last Unicorn_, _Labyrinth_, _Legend_, and others mentioned here. _The Neverending Story_ also has a fairy tale atmosphere, and the book is phenomenal.
I'm sure you all also discussed the Thermasilk - Fantasies ads that aired a while back - the redhead and the dragon, the Greek myth tango, etc. That and the recent Red Riding Hood ones mentioned above are favorites.
I have to admit, I had big issues with Disney reworking the end of _The Little Mermaid_, always one of my favorite stories. They cut out the gory bits too! But _Beauty and the Beast_ always held a special place in my heart -- a fiesty brunette who loves to read better than talk to silly people, gets teased for her brains, yet still secretly longs for her "special someone"? Sounds right up my alley. ;->
Just my two bits on this lovely topic .....
(1/24/01 7:22:06 pm)
|The Last Unicorn!!|
I forgot about that one! I love that our hero is named Schmendrick...
I watched that movie about 50 times when I was a kid, and would use my mother's lipstick to paint a pink unicorn-horn-scar on my forehead, and pretend to be the imprisoned unicron woman in my bedroom. My mom was none-too-pleased about finding her Revlon lipstick ground into bits....
(1/24/01 8:22:04 pm)
|Re: Film adaptations|
"Princess Mononoke" is really fine, too. Evokes the spirit of Japanese myth and legend while still creating something new.
(1/30/01 7:36:55 am)
|Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon|
I saw this with my husband last weekend, I'd never been to the cinema to watch a film with subtitles before, but the story and the acting were so good, that you hardly noticed.
I love "The Slipper and the Rose" and "Ever After". I would love to see a live action version of "Rapunzel"< I think it would make a great film.
(2/8/01 3:32:32 pm)
|Re: Snow White with Sigourney Weaver|
Just bought this from a co-worker and I love it! One question- what was so special about the night when Lily wears her mother's dress? Just wondering if it was her father's anniversary, a feast day, anxious awaiting of the new baby?
(3/3/01 1:54:45 pm)
im trying to do some research on the topic of weather or not there are film noir charteristics in fairy tales
(3/5/01 8:21:16 am)
|Oi, mythic films...|
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was absolutely beautiful, of as much
for the pacing and scenery as for the story itself. It was certainly
high quality as far as hong kong cinema goes- but there are others,
which are as good. Bride with the White Hair comes to mind immediately.
I think Hong Kong cinema has a bit of a bad rep because much of
what we see here is the cheezier, pulp stuff. But, as in all film,
they have their hits and masterpieces as well...
For neat hong kong interpretations of folklore, there is of course
the bottomless chasm of Wong Fei Hong films. Fist of the Monkey,
Once Upon a Time In China, Drunken Master, Young Master and countless
others tell of the life and times of Wong Fei Hong, who was supposedly
a legendary kung fu master from a little before the turn of the
As for Legend, I found it a little... blunt. Sort of akin to being
bashed over the head with the archtypial sledgehammer. I'm not convinced
that explorations of the nature of good and evil need to lack sublety.
Tim Curry was pretty, though, wasn't he?
I had on tape, as a child, a film version of the Snow Queen with
shoddy sets and half assed english accents. I am of the impression
that Superchannel or somebody did cheap little versions of a lot
of fairy tales. The sorts of videos parents get for their kids for
afternoons with the babysitter. Not much to write home about.
This probably got mentioned, but I remember a version of Red RIding
Hood in which the wolf was not a real wolk, but a man who would
turn into a wolf. The whole thing was fairly dark and gruesome,
with graphic transformation sequences where the man would morph
into a frightning wolf-beast. I remember my father telling me that
the moral of the story was not to trust a man with a unibrow.
Here's an attempt to job anyone's memory:
I have an extremely vague (I was very small, I imagine) recollection
of an animated film that was sort of a romeo & juliet tale.
The boy was the son of the king under the sea, and the girl was
the daughter of the queen under the sun. Their love was, of course,
completely impractical as well as not allowed by their parents.
They would watch each other through the water. I remember near the
end, the boy being locked in an underwater prizon, but he had to
escape because the girl was assuming her mother's title, and he
would never be able to see her again if she did. He used a saw-fish
friend to get out. He swims to the surface just in time to see her
complete the "transformation". He climbs out of the water
to see her, and everything is all bright and sunny and hot. He dies
almost immediately. She turns away from whatever ceremony she was
attending to and goes to him, picks him up. The final scene of the
film is her carrying his body into the sea, where she, of course,
dies as well.
I'd give anything to find this film again....
(3/24/01 6:58:24 pm)
|Re: Film adaptations|
I checked out a movie called "Willa: An American Snow White" from the library this weekend which I was surprised how much I enjoyed.
It's one of a series of "American Versions of Folktale Classics". It takes places in Virginia circa 1915. The evil stepmother is a recently retired, aging, famous actress. The huntsman is her chauffer/attendant and the dwarves are members of a traveling medicine show. They actually perform "Snow White" as part of their traveling entertainment, and works on several levels.
Not a 'destined classic', but there was a lot of attention to details and symbolism. Kindof fun.
You asked if this is still available to view--yes, absolutely, but I'm
not sure Blockbuster would have it (though they should). Neil Jordan directed
the film, by the way. Often, video stores shelve it incorrectly with "horror"
movies, so check there. But a good independent video store will order
you what you want to see, so ask if you can't find it!
Anyway, my votes strongly go with Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast and Company
of Wolves, as favorites. . . . but I also love The Magic Donkey (with
Catherine Deneuve). Has anyone seen that? Also of course so many others.
[As Andy Warhol cagily said when asked who his favorite artists were,
in his quietly elusive way, "I like them all." ]
American Snow White
"Willa" was directed by Tom Davenport and is his most recent
installment in his folklore series. He has a wonderful site about the
stories and the films available at www.fromthebrothersgrimm.com. His films
have a Southern U.S. flair and flavor that provide yet another interpretation
of some of our most familiar tales such as Rapunzel, Goose Girl, Hansel
and Gretel, and The Frog King. Willa is one of my favorites. He also has
"Ashpet" which is a Cinderella tale and another one of my favorites
of his films I have seen. Videos of the films are available through his
website and Amazon.com.
The film titles are:
Hansel and Gretel
The Frog King and the Making of the Frog King
Bristlelip (King Thrushbeard)
Bearskin or the Man Who Didn't Wash of Seven Years
The Goose Girl
Jack and the Dentist Daughter (The Master Thief)
Ashpet: An American Cinderella
Mutzmag: An Appalachian Fairytale
Willa: An American Snow White
Edited by: Heidi Anne Heiner at:
3/25/01 11:18:07 pm
An American Snow White
Thanks for the info Heidi,
I'll have to look more of them up. I enjoyed the one I saw.