It takes a special type of magic to take something familiar and transform it into something extraordinary. And that is precisely what Kenneth Branagh did with his live-action adaptation of Disney’s Cinderella. To use a metaphor: the fabric of the story remains familiar, but with re-tailoring, it becomes something new and beautiful. This is exactly the Cinderella you know , no twists or turns: from the fairy godmother all the way down to the chubby mouse friends of Cinderella, the glass slippers, the handsome prince and all of the known story beats remain the same. However, this is all elevated by Kenneth Branagh’s direction and Chris Weitz’s sharply written script.. Branagh is know for lavish theatrical experiences that elevate expectations and Weitz is known for young adult fiction and film and together the interpretation they make of the fairy tale feels very much current, smart and timeless all at once.
Continue reading Cinderella: You’ll Believe in Magic Again
As social creatures, people often have a craving for romance stories or at least romance IN stories. Romantic plots and subplots are common even in media aimed at subcultures with a stereotypical reputation for being socially and romantically inept, such as fans of science fiction or fantasy. Recently, romance and romantic subplots come under heavy criticism by fans and scholars alike; often self-identified feminists call such media and stories out for being poorly written and having disrespectful (often overly sexualized) portrayals of the female romantic interest and often rightfully so. The usual suspects for such stories and subplots are media straight up classified under the “romance” genres and subgenres. However, even stories and media where the element of romance isn’t the primary focus can have not only well-written portrayals of romance – they can be remarkably thoughtful and somewhat progressive in their own right as well.
It can be easy to overlook such elements in media, especially when they are not the subject by which the work is focused on or associated with. That does not make any serious evaluation or analysis of them any less valid. A good example of one of the MOST OVERLOOKED on-screen romances comes in Universal Studio’s 1982, Conan the Barbarian.
Continue reading LOVE AND WAR – THE OVERLOOKED PROGRESSIVE ROMANCE IN “CONAN THE BARBARIAN”