Posts Tagged ‘witches’

The Sleeping Beauty – Better Not Bring Your Kids

Posted 22 Jul 2011 — by Ezra Stead
Category Film Reviews, Most Confusing Films of All time, Movies I Didn't Get

By Ezra Stead

The Sleeping Beauty, France, 2010

Written and Directed by Catherine Breillat

Based on the Story “Sleeping Beauty” by Charles Perrault

The Sleeping Beauty is a frustrating, disappointing new film from Catherine Breillat. If ever there was a movie I didn’t get, it is Catherine Breillat’s latest, a bizarre, meandering adaptation of the classic Charles Perrault fairy tale, “Sleeping Beauty.” Perhaps it is because I have only seen one of Breillat’s previous films, the almost universally reviled but, in my opinion, underrated and fascinating Anatomy of Hell (2004), and I am therefore not entirely familiar with her sensibility, but I just couldn’t get into this one. Though it is pretty and has a distinct air of artistry about it, I found Breillat’s The Sleeping Beauty to be tedious, and somehow both opaque and obvious at the same time. Of course, it didn’t help that I was constantly reminded of similar but better films by the likes of Terry Gilliam and David Lynch, not to mention Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) and especially Sally Potter’s Orlando (1992). Though they share themes such as the transcendence of time and gender, one distinct advantage Potter’s film has over Breillat’s is the stellar, engaging central performance by the great Tilda Swinton, of which none of the actors in Beauty seem capable of approaching. Read More

Red Riding Hood

Posted 20 Apr 2011 — by contributor
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get

By Scott Martin

Red Riding Hood, USA / Canada, 2011

Directed by Catherine Hardwicke

Red Riding Hood has the Brothers Grimm rolling in their graves. I grew up wanting this film. Not this film, strictly speaking, but what this film could have been. I’ve often said that the most important part of film criticism is to not judge what could have been, but what is, and simply that. I know that I was a fan of the fairy tale from a young age, even to this day, and I know that the film I always wanted to see made from it was more The Ghost and the Darkness (1996), a truly terrific and terrifying film, and less Twilight (2008), which I enjoy, for what it’s worth. But what we got was Twilight, not The Ghost and the Darkness.

What sets them apart is this: Red Riding Hood could have been a film about a wolf hunt, about the strength of family, and a feminist’s wet dream. Instead, it wound up being a teenage love story between an outsider and a pretty girl, and a whodunit about a werewolf. A careful distinction: the original “Little Red Riding Hood” story is almost exactly like the former, and Catherine Hardwicke’s version is exactly like the latter. Remember that Catherine Hardwicke gave us the first Twilight. She almost ruined that, and she did ruin this. Beyond repair. Read More