“Have courage, and be kind,” our heroine’s mother tells Ella before she passes away.
The theme resonates through the story, as Ella is joyous amid her troubles—when banished to the attic by her wicked stepmother, she rearranges the scraps of furniture and shakes out a dusty blanket, before she tells the mice how much she enjoys solitude. Continue reading
Just how do you rework a classic fairy tale, offering something new and different to audiences whilst still maintaining the magic? Maleficent (2014) balances new and old in this wave of live-action adaptations of old animated classics. Interestingly, unlike Cinderella (2015) and Beauty and the Beast (2017), Maleficent is the Wicked-esque version of Sleeping Beauty (1959) where the titular Maleficent receives a rich backstory. This twist on the classic tale has not been used for any other Disney live-action adaptations. Maleficent is unique in not only being able to keep to the bare bones of the original, but also insert some new twists and subversions of fairy tale tropes. Continue reading
How do myths and legends begin? Is there a kernel of truth at the heart of these stories? Or over time do we fall in love with ideas and romances, and that as a result, we create other worlds to distract ourselves? Continue reading
A common complaint lodged against Hollywood is that it has no new stories. This is understandable, but it neglects to consider that certain narratives are timeless. They can appear with different external details but will always keep that impact on audiences which can be lasting. A story that is particularly effective at this is the romantic tragedy, and one such tale is about Tristan and Isolde. The different versions of Tristan and Isolde shows how reinterpretation can manifest itself across various mediums. Continue reading
I was raised to believe in legends.
When I say that, I don’t just mean any legends. I mean the legends of the saints.
The word “legends” is not to imply that I’ve stopped believing in Catholic saints as an adult. I know they were (in most cases) real historical figures, and I have a reverence for the holy lives they led. But I now realize certain stories told about these men and women aren’t necessarily true… or, at least, aren’t verifiable. Maybe St. Patrick didn’t really turn the evil ruler into a fox and maybe St. Anthony didn’t really preach to the fishes in the sea when the townspeople cast him out. I won’t go on record saying it’s false, but I won’t go on record saying it’s true, either. Continue reading