Monday, September 23, 2013

Rapunzel's Tower Is Under Construction

Set of the film, Into the Woods (2014) under construction at Waverley Abbey, Farnham, Surrey. The artificial tower between the abbey's dorter on the left and the refectory on the right is Rapunzel's Tower. (September 18, 2013)
So if this is what the construction of such a structure looks like in 2013, what would it have looked like in the 1600's? (ie. when Giambattista Basile was writing his version, which is the earliest version of this tale found to date?) What materials would they have used? How many people would it have taken to build? How long would it have taken to construct - had to be less than 12-16 years, right?

Oh wait. Mother Gothel was a witch so she probably magicked it into being...

"The way is clear, the light is good...." #IntoTheWoods
~ Anna Kendrick on Twitter
Image from Into the Woods filming location
But if she could do that, between that and her luscious garden, what kind of witch was she?

And no matter whether the tower sprang up overnight or over twelve years, what would the townspeople's reaction have been if they'd seen it in the wood?

(In the Basile version, Rapunzel/Petrosinella is much older when her mother hands her over to the sorceress/ogress and has already been to school [and it's in an even more heartless manner that the exchange happens, in my opinion] and at least one member of the town community interacts/gossips with the ogress, so someone else - other than Petrosinella's birth family - was very aware of her living situation.)

I love the questions that spring to mind when the practical matters of a fairy tale have to be managed in real life, such as how to construct an actual tower for set use in a film. In this case, the construction is for the current film-in-production Into the Woods, for which principle photography started this last week (the building will be half-historical and half new).

Check the interior stairs - would the original tower have had stairs inside with no door or window to make use of the space, do you think? And with woods like those shown above, don't you think the tower would have been more than a little visible to the surrounding towns? Or was it also camouflaged with vines and greenery? So many questions...

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