Thursday, May 22, 2014

You Know You're a Fairy Tale Blogger When....



Guys! Guys wait for me! <runs on out of breath>. You guys <gasp> I'm not <pant> dead I swear, I just <wheeze> have no time!

About two weeks ago I was tagged in the fun "You Know You're a Fairy Tale Blogger When..." series. I am only just getting around to compiling a list, and I am not even sure if I am worthy of being tagged. Fairy Tale blogging has alas slipped down to the lower end of my priority list what with grad school and day job and job hunting and dramagurging and lit managing and family and fiance and friends and other blog.

However, I will give it a shot. It will be short, because my colleagues have already summed up many of my thoughts.

1) Your automatic reaction to any story is "Oh, that's like X fairy tale!" "That sounds like The Juniper Tree!" "That sounds like Godfather Death!"

2) Hedgehogs are always named Hans.

3) You insert yourself into any conversation regarding fairy tales (even two strangers walking home at night talking about OUAT), and feel confidant debating all comers.

4) You try to make all school projects somehow about fairy tales (-cough- using Arne-Thompson as a system of organization in a library assignment. -cough-)

5) Your Dream House pinterest page is a cottage castle in the woods with lots of secret passages and vines and towers.

6) You feel a little paranoid and a little bad ass when walking at night in red outerwear.

7) Regardless of ratings, you feel compelled to read every fairy tale adaptation, and watch every movie and tv show because you have the paranoid worry your readers might get mad if you don't.

8) You see fairy tale symbolism everywhere. An apple, a clear shoe, a bean, a mirror, a rose.

9) You save every scrap of fairy tale news in case you want/ have time to blog about it later.

10) When adapting fairy tales collaboratively, your friends do not understand why you are being stubborn and getting emotional about certain elements. (Kai and Gerda having a happy ending in a theatrical adaptation of "The Snow Queen").

That is what I've got! Check out what everyone else said too, it's really fun! Thank you for including me on this, fellow bloggers!

I am now tagging Cate from Something To Read for the Train to keep the list going!

Kristin from Tales of Faerie
Gypsy from Once Upon a Blog
Heidi of SurLaLune
Adam of Fairy Tale Fandom
Tahlia from Diamonds and Toads and Timeless Tales
Kate at Enchanted Conversation
Kristina at Twice Upon a Time
Reilly, co-founder of the Australian Fairy Tales Society
Christie at Spinning Straw into Gold

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

MASSIVE Fairy Tale Roundup: Gender Roles, Branagh's Cinderella Movie, Malificent Spoilers, Frozen in OUAT?, Non-Fiction Fairy Tale Books, Fairy Tales and Conflict Resolution, OUAB Interview, and Restoration!

Oh my gosh. So much fairy tale news, so little time. I feel like the White Rabbit, always rushing from one thing to the next. The semester is ending for both me and the students, so there is constantly one last thing to do. However, I have found a small oasis of time to devote to Dark Foresting. Here goes...

Gender Roles: Native American vs. Victorian Fairy Tales
A beautiful examination of gender roles by Tales of Faerie.  She looks at the expectations of women in each culture and how their fairy tales reflect those roles.

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Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella Wows at CinemaCon.
Both Io9 (with hilarious commentary) and Once Upon a Blog reported on how well the new Cinderella footage was received at CinemaCon. Cate Blanchett blew everyone away as the evil stepmother, and Sophie McShera and Holliday Grainger (two amazing actresses whose work I adore) are the evil stepsisters. And there are CGI mice with vests. And Robb Stark as the prince. It seems to hit the Disney nostalgic story telling sweet spot. Once Upon a Blog has some nice details to add to the Io9 story, as well as amazing live action reference photos from the animated Cinderella.

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Maleficent Revelations
Once Upon a Blog revealed to us an amazing Japanese trailer for Maleficent that emphasized her sinister nature, not her misunderstood and wronged back story. I like it. 



She also provided us with the transcript for an IMDB forum conversation with a Disney official assuaging fears and answering fans' questions about the movie, including "Will we see Maleficent as a dragon?" It has LOADS of spoilers, so beware. It also states that the writers drew inspiration from the ancient Welsh tale of Culhwch and Olwen and Spencer's The Faerie Queene.

Annnnd loads more clips of the film with additional information and never before seen footage and an interview with Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning. I am now really intrigued by her raven companion. 

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(Fan made Poster)
I do not know how I feel about this. Once Upon a Blog reports that Anna, Elsa, and maybe Merida might be headed to Storybrooke. This feels like they are capitalizing on their popularity, rather than having any real reason for them there. These are also very clearly Disney invented characters, rather than something based on a fairy tale or old story. It is a big departure from the rules set out by the show. But then, OUAT has turned into a big fanfiction clusterfuck anyway, so why not throw in some characters to bring back viewers who have abandoned the show. (That is not to say that I hate OUAT. If I still did my episode reviews I would squee all over OutlawQueen. And Rumple is getting very interesting again.) Once Upon a Blog has some interesting ideas for if Merida joined the OUAT cast.

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Tales of Faerie Reviews Awesome Books
Tales of Faerie, a beacon if fairy tale scholarship, has reviewed a few prominent non-fiction books for us!
The Witch Must Die: How Fairy Tales Shape Our Lives by Sheldon Cashdan: She disagrees with the author's claim that children see their own sins in the villains of the stories. 
-  Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked: Sex, Morality, and the Evolution of a Fairy Tale by Catherine Orenstein (one of my very favorite fairy tale analysis books). She follows up her review of this stellar book with an exploration of Little Red Riding Hood and Feminism

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Fairy Tales for Conflict Resolution
Tales of Faerie discovered this really amazing video about how drama is created in the work place through the fairy tale paradigm of Persecutor, Victim and Rescuer, and how we must break out of the scripted roles to get to the root of the problem. (She seems to have since taken down the post, but it was pretty cool!) [EDITED: Here it is! ]


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Fascinating interview by a fairy tale blogger with a fairy tale blogger all about philosophies of fairy tales why we do what we do.

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Restoration

Bill Willingham, creator of Fables, is now doing a new comic series called Restoration about all the gods of the world being restored to power in the modern day. They create a massive pantheon; not good news for us mere mortals.  

Friday, March 21, 2014

Fairy Tale Roundup: Librarian Curated Fairy Tale Books, a new Snow White in the 1950s, Maleficent Bonanza! and Sibling Relations in Beauty and the Beast

So much going on!



Get Genrefied: Fairy Tale Re-tellings
Stacked, an amazing librarian-run book blog, provides us with an amazingly comprehensive list of YA fairy tale adaptations broken down by fairy tale, including old favorites and many I had not heard of!

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Boy, Snow, Bird

NPR directed our attention to a new adaptation of Snow White that is coming out, about a girl in New England in the 1950s: "Reading the fairy tale, the way that it's so explicit that Snow White's beauty is tied into the whiteness of her skin, there seemed a very clear connection to me with the '50s and '60s in America when there was very much a debate over the rights of a human being based on the color of their skin."

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Io9 told us the story of a child who used to talk but developed regressive autism, unable to talk and almost unreachable, until he came across a certain scene in The Little Mermaid involving the loss of a voice. Read the entire article in the New York Times for the whole story. 

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So much new Maleficent stuff. Here are new pics and commentary and an EW interview with Angelina Jolie from Once Upon a Blog, and the full delicious trailer: 


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Tales of Faerie performs a wonderful analysis of the various versions and adaptations of Beauty and the Beast, specifically regarding Beauty's relationship to her sisters. I didn't realize how very Lear it is! 


Book Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer


Cress
by Marissa Meyer

“I am an explorer,' she whispered, 'setting courageously off into the wild unknown.' It was not a daydream she'd ever had before, but she felt the familiar comfort of her imagination wrapping around her. She was an archeologist, a scientist, a treasure hunter. She was a master of land and sea. 'My life is an adventure.' she said, growing confident as she opened her eyes again. 'I will not be shackled to this satellite anymore.'

Thorne tilted his head to one side. He waited for three heartbeats before sliding one hand down into hers. 'I have no idea what you're talking about,' he said. 'But we'll go with it.” 

Beginning where Scarlet left off, Cinder, Thorne, Scarlet and Wolf are on their ship (voiced by Iko, their droid compatriot) trying to think of a plan to overthrow the Lunar Queen, stop her from marrying Prince Kai and taking over the world. It is not a B movie, I swear. On a satellite circling earth, we find Cress, a long-haired Lunar shell (non-magical Lunar), who has spent her life working for the Queen, hacking their security feeds, monitoring their transmissions, and hiding Lunar movements. In all that time of solitude, she has fallen in love with earth, and more specifically with the dashing and suave Captain Thorne whom she knows is hiding a heart of gold under his selfish exterior. She teams up with our heroes, but when Thorne attempts to rescue her from her lonely outpost, Cress' guardian, the Lunar Thaumaturge finds them, and sends the satellite hurling to earth. In the process, Thorne is blinded (the witch throws the prince from the tower, he lands in thorns and his eyes are gouged out). Cress, newly shorn, and a blind Thorne must find their way across the desert, join Cinder and stop the royal wedding.

To see what I though (Hint: I loved it sooooo much) see my review on Palimpsest! 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Fairy Tale Roundup: The Importance of Fairy Tales, the Irony of Fairy Tales in Ads, and Zooey Deschanel's new TV Show

Goodness, February has been insane. Probably the busiest month I have had in a long time, and full of unpredictable stumbling blocks, loss, and challenges. However, I am taking a break on this penultimate day of the month to give you a small, but meaty sampling of fairy tale things:

An Introduction to Fairy Tales by The National Theatre 


Something to Read for the Train showed us this beautiful video discussing the importance of fairy tales, how they help us process things we might not otherwise be able to process. They are survival stories, for both young and old. You get different things from them at different ages. They have almost no characterization so that we can step into the role of the hero or heroine ourselves.

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Fairy Tales Sell 
Tales of Faerie muses upon the fact that even though fairy tales have more than the usual share of gore, tragedy and horror, they are used to sell products. Products that promise if you by them, they will give you  happy ending, or even products that may not have done too much research into the fairy tale they are named after. An excellent examination.

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(pic obviously not from the show)

Zooey Deschanel to Exec Produce New Animated-Workplace-Comedy On Difficulties Of Running A Fairy Tale 'Queendom'
Here is a fun bit of fluff! Once Upon a Blog has informed us that Zooey Deschanel is going to produce a TV series about an evil queen called The Queen of Everything: "The show is a modern fairytale about an evil queen who realizes that running a Queendom isn’t easy when you have no people skills and everyone hates you. But with a little help from her staff, she will try to change her ways." That is pretty much all we have for now, but it could be fun! See Once Upon a Blog


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Fairy Tale News Roundup: Obscure Films, Bullfighter Snow White, Japanese Monsters, Snow Queen Productions, New Maleficent Trailer!

Quick fairy tale news round up! We opened the show on Monday so everything has been insane, and I will have a post with pics soon!



10 Obscure Fairy Tale Films (Flavorwire)
Flavorwire has given us a list of obscure (and I mean OBSCURE) fairy tale films! Not only are the films themselves obscure, the tales are refreshingly so as well! They look very foreign (lots of Russian, Italian, Slavic and Japanese films) and trippy and delicious, so check them out!

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Why you need to watch Spanish Snow White movie "Blancanieves" AT ONCE. (Hello, Tailor)
In addition to the other two Snow Whites that came out recently, we apparently missed the good one! Hello Tailor tells us all about the Spanish Snow White movie Blancanieves, in which Snow White grows up and becomes... wait for it... a BULLFIGHTER! But wait, there's more! 1920s carnival-esque design, focus on familial relationships and no prince! I cannot wait to see it. Here is the trailer:



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14 Terrifying Japanese Monsters, Myths and Spirits

Since I am also looping mythology and folklore into my mission a bit, I thought I'd include these! My favorite is the Aka Manto who wanders around bathrooms and asks you what color toilet paper you want. Your choice determines how he will kill you. The most terrifying, though, is the Kuchisake-Onna, who wears a surgical masks and asks children if they think she is pretty. When the kids say yes, she reveals that her mouth is slit wide, like the Joker. She asks again and if they say no, she cuts them in half. If they say yes, she slits their mouths like hers. <shudders>

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In the wake of the announcement that Frozen is going to be a stage musical, Once Upon a Blog has been doing a lovely series on plays of the Snow Queen. It is amazing how beautiful, imaginative and different they are! (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

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New Maleficent Trailer (Everyone)
Everyone covered the new Maleficent trailer to mixed success. Once Upon a Blog screen caps it, and seems to have a pretty positive view of it. Io9 is so not cool with the synopsis:
"The untold story of Disney's most iconic villain from the 1959 classic "Sleeping Beauty." A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman with stunning black wings, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army of humans threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land's fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal - an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent faces an epic battle with the king of the humans and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom - and to Maleficent's true happiness as well."
They worry Disney is turning their greatest villain into "a misunderstood goth girl with amazing headwear?" Also, they are creeped out by the fairies, and I have to say I am with them on that one. The Mary Sue simply says "DEAR GOD, WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?" Flavorwire simply hopes Elle Fanning does not drop the accent, and that Angelina maintains her fantastic bitch face throughout the film.

Here it is! Care to weigh in?


Friday, January 17, 2014

Performance: Glassheart Update

Hello everyone!

We are heading in to our first preview tonight! It is Pay What You Can, so if you are in the DC area, come on down! It has been a crazy whirlwind of tech. I have been eating, sleeping and breathing this show.



We had a "Meet the Cast" feature on the Rorschach Theatre Facebook page, so I thought I would share them with you!

Meet our Lamp and Company Member Megan Reichelt


Who are you?
I am Megan Reichelt, administrative assistant/ librarian student by day, actress and fairy tale enthusiast by night.

Where are you from? 
I am originally from Baltimore City, then Catonsville, then CUA, then Silver Spring!

Why are you here? 
To tell stories that people connect to, that help them feel understood, give them an escape, or help them change their lives for the better. The right story at the right time to the right person can change the world.

Also because once upon a time, seven years ago, Deb Sivigny asked me to stage manage a Rorschach show.

And also because fairy tale adaptations are one of my favorite things in the whole world. I love how the stories of the past still speak to the present, and how we reinvent them and live them in every era of human history. “The latest incarnation of Oedipus, the continued romance of Beauty and the Beast, stand this afternoon on the corner of 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, waiting for the traffic light to change.” - Joseph Campbell

What are you enjoying most about Glassheart?
The Lamp is probably the largest, and definitely one of the most difficult characters I have ever played. I am enjoying the challenge of digging into her brain and her heart, listening to her in rehearsals, living in her skin (or her metal and fabric).

I am enjoying playing with my cast mates, none of whom I really knew before we began this process, and collaborating with Lee, whom I have known for a very long time. It is a wonderful gift that we can work on this show together.

I am enjoying living in a fairy tale, an actual fairy tale where "Happily Ever After" is not guaranteed.

If you were a fairy tale character, who would you be and why? 
I would be the girl from East of the Sun and West of the Moon, a Beauty and the Beast (or Cupid and Psyche) story where the girl is taken to the palace of the Polar Bear King in exchange for her family's wealth and happiness. She learns to love the bear, but she makes a terrible mistake and he is taken far away to the castle of his evil stepmother that lies east of the sun and west of the moon. The girl must go into the wilderness, farther than she has ever been, to rescue her prince.

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Meet the Beast

Photo: Meet the Beast #glassheartdc

Who are you?
Andrew Keller.  Anything past that is just guesswork, and temporary anyway.

Where are you from? 
Born: St. Louis, MO
Raised:  Just east of there
Undergrad:  An awful place southwest of there
Grad:  A glorious place an ocean away
Recently:  A toxic place with a few good people
Currently:  A beautiful place called "here"

Why are you here? 
Geographically:  Because all the cool kids are here.
Emotionally:  Because I'm a very lucky person who's been very unlucky in the past.
Physically:  Because all systems continue to be functional.
Artistically:  Because I've had the unique and incredible blessing of being welcomed by people like me, who encourage individual exploration in the context of a common goal, for nearly my entire artistic life.
Spiritually:  Because to be anywhere else than "here" is to miss the point.

What are you enjoying most about Glassheart?
I love being in the company of other people who play, and these people love to play.  Like, a lot.

If you were a fairy tale character, who would you be and why? 
Suleiman Bin Daoud from "The Butterfly That Stamped."  To be so powerful and yet to be wise enough to not ever use it for one's personal gain is to be the best of humanity.

Who are you?
Andrew Keller. Anything past that is just guesswork, and temporary anyway.

Where are you from? 
Born: St. Louis, MO
Raised: Just east of there
Undergrad: An awful place southwest of there
Grad: A glorious place an ocean away
Recently: A toxic place with a few good people
Currently: A beautiful place called "here"

Why are you here? 
Geographically: Because all the cool kids are here.
Emotionally: Because I'm a very lucky person who's been very unlucky in the past.
Physically: Because all systems continue to be functional.
Artistically: Because I've had the unique and incredible blessing of being welcomed by people like me, who encourage individual exploration in the context of a common goal, for nearly my entire artistic life.
Spiritually: Because to be anywhere else than "here" is to miss the point.

What are you enjoying most about Glassheart?
I love being in the company of other people who play, and these people love to play. Like, a lot.

If you were a fairy tale character, who would you be and why? 
Suleiman Bin Daoud from "The Butterfly That Stamped." To be so powerful and yet to be wise enough to not ever use it for one's personal gain is to be the best of humanity.

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Better know your cast w/ Natalie Cutcher, our Aiofe

Photo: Better know your cast w/ Natalie Cutcher #glassheartDC

Who are you?

1.) A day in the life: Good morning, thank you for calling...hi there, may I help you with...are you in need of anything else? What should I pick up?  Please tell me we got the coffee shipment.  Wait. It didn't arrive?!] How may are in your party? Smile. Smile. Smile. Who and I training today?great. Of course! HOW WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR EGGS POACHED? She love you yeaah, yeaah, yeaaaaaaaaah!
Meanwhile, rehearsal provides the : escape, play, challenge, beauty, laughter, genuine connection

Where are you from? 

2.) Virginia technically but really Maryland, college in Pennsylvania (and an incredibly lucky stint in Italy) then DC

Why are you here? 

3.) To explore the thriving theatre scene, expand my culinary pallet, and check out many a-museum in a city where you can see the sky

What are you enjoying most about Glassheart?

4.) So far, the team has been one of the best parts of the process.  Everyone is bringing their A-Game to make this piece really vibrant.  We're all wrestling with difference challenges along the way but digging into them with gusto.  Thanks to Lee there's a fearless spirit in the rehearsal room; we get excited to experiment and really flesh out those moments that need a bit more care.  I love watching Megan, Andrew, and Lynette make bold choices--it sets the bar wonderfully high for myself.  Everyone in the room is simply happy to be there.

If you were a fairy tale character, who would you be and why? 

5.) Oh geez, I get Snow White a lot probably because I'm patient, enjoy reading, and hum while doing dishes but I've always like the Three Billy Goats Gruff.  Although it would be pretty satisfying to frolic with woodland creatures at a moment's notice...

Who are you?

1.) A day in the life: Good morning, thank you for calling...hi there, may I help you with...are you in need of anything else? What should I pick up? Please tell me we got the coffee shipment. Wait. It didn't arrive?!] How may are in your party? Smile. Smile. Smile. Who and I training today?great. Of course! HOW WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR EGGS POACHED? She love you yeaah, yeaah, yeaaaaaaaaah!
Meanwhile, rehearsal provides the : escape, play, challenge, beauty, laughter, genuine connection

Where are you from?

2.) Virginia technically but really Maryland, college in Pennsylvania (and an incredibly lucky stint in Italy) then DC

Why are you here? 

3.) To explore the thriving theatre scene, expand my culinary pallet, and check out many a-museum in a city where you can see the sky

What are you enjoying most about Glassheart?

4.) So far, the team has been one of the best parts of the process. Everyone is bringing their A-Game to make this piece really vibrant. We're all wrestling with difference challenges along the way but digging into them with gusto. Thanks to Lee there's a fearless spirit in the rehearsal room; we get excited to experiment and really flesh out those moments that need a bit more care. I love watching Megan, Andrew, and Lynette make bold choices--it sets the bar wonderfully high for myself. Everyone in the room is simply happy to be there.

If you were a fairy tale character, who would you be and why? 

5.) Oh geez, I get Snow White a lot probably because I'm patient, enjoy reading, and hum while doing dishes but I've always like the Three Billy Goats Gruff. Although it would be pretty satisfying to frolic with woodland creatures at a moment's notice...

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Meet Rorschach actor Lynette Rathnam, who plays Ms. Russe



Who are you?
Feisty, pensive, annoying, annoyed, powerful, afraid, loving, cold, intense, scattered, driven, dreamer.

Where are you from? 
Maryland

Why are you here? 
To heal wounds from past lives.

What are you enjoying most about Glassheart?
Being wicked, magical and complex

If you were a fairy tale character, who would you be and why?
Someone of great power, magical ability and mystery. Neither good nor bad.