Tangled Directed by: Nathan Greno, Byron Howard Written by: Dan Fogelman (screenplay), Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm (fairy tale) Starring: Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy, and Ron Perlman
You’ve seen this place before. The polished forests, trickling streams, song birds chirping in a synchronized melody- you’re in Hell, only this time it looks more polished.
That may be a bit hyperbolic to describe Tangled, the latest Disney princess delusion to sweep children up on waves of fantasy and take them to a perfect world that will never exist. The images are distinctly old school, reminiscent of Sleeping Beauty or Snow White. These days, though, Pixar is the bulk of Disney animation, and their technical and story wizards work behind the scenes (the company’s John Lasseter serves as producer) to salvage this movie from destroying itself. It’s not a bad pairing at times, with beautiful images and story-telling subversion that are well above this movie’s call.
The New World Directed by: Terrence Malick Written by: Terrence Malick Starring: Colin Farrell, Q’orianka Kilcher, Christian Bale, Christopher Plummer
Fairy tales are the ultimate sense of wonder and escapism for our society. With an entire culture fixated on Disney classics, princesses who fall in love with soldiers, forbidden love and foreign romances which are really more Americanized than we think, it is difficult to place realism and authenticity into the mix.
Stories of enchantment often require singing, colors, happy endings and no subtitles to satisfy our desires for fantasy. It is pathetic in a way. Our culture could not be content with a fairy tale didn’t have these elements; otherwise we strip it from the fairy tale genre. Sure the words fairy tale mean magic, fabled or legendary, but must swooning love stories be doused in Hollywood conventions, Americanization, modernization or artistic eye-candy to make it romantic?
In Terrence Malick’s retelling of the classic Pocahontas story, he explores just that concept. Putting realism and authenticity into a classic fairy tale, he experiments with cinematic devices to convey something more raw, something more tangible and something more real. Continue reading →