A Fairytale Renaissance
There’s magic in the air. The renaissance of the fairytale is no longer once upon a time. It is upon us now.
The cinematic fairytale re-tellings have been piling up over the last few years. Snow White had several outings. Who can forget Charlize Theron’s fabulous costumes in Snow White and the Huntsman, though I was expecting Kristen Stewart to turn into a vampire. (Snow White the vampire – now there’s a mashup?). Julia Roberts was at her comedic best in Mirror Mirror, with quite a lust for the Prince. And we’ve also had Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, Hansel and Gretel: WitchKillers and Jack the Giant Slayer.
But none has been as magnificent as Malificent. Angela Jolie is stunning in the title role and the reason for her seeking vengeance with Aurora as her victim, is real and justifiable. No spoilers here, but the movie is full of battle and fight scenes, fairy whimsy and fabulous special effects including cheekbones that could cut diamonds. I loved it.
And there are more fairy tale movies to come!
Television is not too far behind with Beauty and the Beast. Grimm, and my favourite Once Upon a Time. I love the twists in Once Upon a Time, how the characters stories intertweave and intersect with each other, how we visit many different lands: The Enchanted Forest, Wonderland, Neverland, Oz, Storybrook and even New York. My favourite character is Rumplestiltskin/Mr Gold and Robert Carlyle’s portrayal of this complex character is fascinating and mesmerising. And for a bit of sexy, Hook definitely fits the bill. Of course, commercial television in Australia is currently teasing me with promises that it will screen, and then ripping it out of the schedule because it’s a holiday weekend. I am hoping that they will also show Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, but I’m not counting on it.
Meanwhile, back in Oz (Australia, not L Frank Baum’s version), the Australian Fairytale Society has incorporated and I have become a founding member. AFTS is holding their inaugural conference in Sydney today and I wish I could be there. But no fairy godmother appeared to wave her magic wand and transport me there. Next year…. You can follow the conference on Twitter via the hashtag #AFTSConf, like their page on Facebook or wait for the unveiling of their website later today.
In books, there is also a fairytale renaissance and my to-be-read pile (both on Kindle and in my house) are growing.
I’m currently reading Kate Forsyth’s The Wild Girl, which is not a fairy tale as such but is about Dortchen Wild and her relationship with Willhelm Grimm.
Bitter Greens – Kate Forsyth (Rapunzel)
The Fairest of them All – Carolyn Turgeon (Rapunzel and Snow White)
Godmother – Carolyn Turgeon (Cinderella)
Mermaid – Carolyn Turgeon (The LIttle Mermaid)
Cinder – Marissa Meyer (sci-fi Cinderella)
Ash – Malinda Lo
Desperately Ever After – Laura Kenyon (Belle, Cinderella, Rapunzel in NY)
But first, I need to finish my own fairy-tale retelling of Cinderella and Snow White, After Ever After. Like Laura’s novel, my story is set in the modern day world, in the kingdoms of Majandis and Cypyrnia. Both princesses are dealing with living in the royal goldfish bowl with endless media speculation of their lives. But there’s a twist. A photo by Robert Mapplethorpe may give you a clue:
What’s a girl to do when she marries Prince Charming only to discover he’d rather sleep with the coachman?
Back to the fun!
For lots more fairy tale news, check out Once Upon a Blog by Gypsy Thornton. She has all the latest fairytale goss!