Friday, June 14, 2013

A New Journey Into Fairy Tale Films From Fandor

Traditions of folklore and fairy tale inspired the earliest of filmmakers and it didn’t take them long to discover how to visualize the miraculous via trick photography and special effects.
Yet who could have predicted just how “special” those effects would eventually become in the present day, when CGI-engorged new versions of old favorites like Snow White emerge yearly? Fairy tale-derived titles do, however, stray from the well-beaten commercial path and the best delight and terrify with their quirky imaginative breadth...
Attention: fairy tale fans, film buffs, special effects people
and cultural history detectives! 

Welcome to a new online fairy tale film collection from Fandor: Journey Into Film (The Fairy Tales Edition), curated by longtime film critic (Variety & San Francisco Bay Guardian) Dennis Harvey!

I wasn't quite able to get the blog up and running again in time for the launch (so sorry!) but this is a not-to-be-missed, brand new and  extremely cool resource for fans of fairy tale and film. We are so fortunate to live in a time when resources like this are made available to us (where before we had to have special access to film archives and more) so please go take a look, let Fandor know we are truly excited to see this and that it was worth the effort (and that we'd love to see even more!).

Journey Into Fairy Tale Film, isn't your average, random, (or dry) collection either. The films within  are carefully chosen to be shown together. They're related via theme (and other insights the curator reveals as you go "on the journey"), go from the older films to the very recent and the presentation is designed specifically to help you "connect the dots" between them. 
Mr. Harvey*, was kind enough to give Once Upon A Blog an additional statement regarding curating the collection:
"Choosing films for this particular "Journey" was especially easy because fairy tales surface in many types of film that Fandor offers, particularly silent cinema and animation. 

Dennis Harvey - Film critic for Variety & SF Bay Guardian

Some of the later films in this "Journey" tap Fandor's sizable collection of camp and exploitation movies. "Cinderella 2000" is one of many erotic films from the 1970s that send up (and sexed up) childhood fables, while the completely nuts Hong Kong kung-fu fantasy "Deadly Snail vs. Kung Fu Killer" draws on their  Chinese equivalents.

The most recent films in the series illustrate the popular trend in recent years of taking legendary tales and figures (not least 20th-century ones like Batman and Superman) into "darker," more adult directions. The 2008 Korean "Hansel and Gretel" plumbs the macabre and disturbing qualities of a "children's story" the way Angela Carter or Gregory Maguire have in the literary realm. Then there's "Sita Sings the Blues," which puts a very modern and playful spin on primary piece of epic Indian mythology."
- Dennis Harvey (on curating Fandor's Journey Into Film - Fairy Tales collection)
 It's online, accessible to everyone (even without a Fandor "online cinema subscription") and just very cool to look at and move around in (no special skills required).
It's also interactive so you can choose to read a quick overview (with big beautiful pics), view clips or even view whole films.

Excerpted from the announcement in my mail:
Today (May 30, 2013), — the streaming source for indie film — launched a new series called Journey Into Film.  Each Journey Into Film theme is curated by a respected film critic or Fandor film buff, and offers viewers a behind-the-scenes look at specific films and genres through interactive visuals and expert insight.
...This collection of folklore and fairytale favorites utilizes trick photography and special effects  to bring fantasy to reality. 
OK - no more online time here. Instead, go to Fandor's Fairy Tale Journey and check it out. I hope the collection stays available in the long term but even if it doesn't, they have lots of fairy tale (and fairy tale influenced) films to browse through - especially if you're a real film buff. 

Take advantage and enjoy!
* To read more about Variety film critic Dennis Harvey and his work, click on the link to read an interview in which he speaks about his time at the University of Michigan (of which is an alum) and the changing nature of film criticism. You can also click HERE.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the tip, this site looks like it'll be a lot of fun to read. I find it so interesting how big German Fairy Tales have become world wide. I mean Korea has some very awesome fairy tales but they still make Hansel and Gretel movies.