Fairy Tales

‘The Lure’ Fills the Mermaid Shaped Hole in My Heart

The Lure

Closer to sirens than friendly flounders these creatures lure men to their deaths and feast on their flesh. … Deadly mermaids, Eastern European pop music, and crushing dreams may not initially seem like a wonderful combination, but The Lure mixes these elements together beautifully.

Sex, Silver Service, and Fairy Tales: ‘Sleeping Beauty’

Poster for Sleeping Beauty

In her debut feature, 2011’s ‘Sleeping Beauty,’ director Julia Leigh examines consent, voyeurism, and passivity through the character of Lucy, a beautiful college student who sleepwalks through life as if it doesn’t involve her. Lucy becomes a literal Sleeping Beauty when she takes a job that involves her being drugged to unconsciousness while men are allowed to do anything they please to her naked body, with the exception of penetration. She exists in an eroticized, dream-like landscape and the film often feels like a painting come to life.

Father Archetypes in Guillermo Del Toro’s Films


There are patterns in Guillermo del Toro’s dark fairy tales, one of the obvious ones being the ease with which he puts children in harm’s way, some of their trials being so painfully harsh that one can’t help suspecting that he puts them in his stories just to tear at our heartstrings. Thankfully, the stories of childhood loss are balanced with protective Nurturer figures, some women, some men, but I’ll be focussing purely on the men because of the clichéd figure of the female nurturer.

‘Grimm’ Season 3 and the Darkness In Between


But the fairytale redux is also a hugely modern fascination, and a substantial moneymaker for TV and movies. To steep this article in some timely context, consider these popular and recent remakes of fairytale stories: Once Upon A Time, Once Upon A Time In Wonderland (save yourself and evening and don’t watch), and Sleepy Hollow. In film, there is Snow White and the Huntsman, Mirror Mirror, Hanna, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, The Brothers Grimm, and Jack and the Giant Killer (among others). There’s even a fabulous book of Politically Correct Bedtime Stories and a great series of photographs from Dina Goldstein called Fallen Princesses.

No, ‘Oz the Great and Powerful,’ We Don’t Need More Male-Centric Fairy Tales

Written by Megan Kearns. After seeing Oz the Great and Powerful, I was annoyed. And angry. Everything in the film revolves around one dude: James Franco as Oscar Diggs aka Oz. Bleh. It’s a patriarchal dream come true. Women in the film fawn over Oz, swoon over him, make googly eyes at him, get enraged […]

Bitch Slapped: Female Violence in ‘Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters’

Written by: Rachel Redfern Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton in Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters Watching the trailer for this year’s latest fairy tale redux, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters it, wasn’t a difficult thing to judge the film as a clichéd action movie with a bad plot and a ridiculous title: we were not […]

Classic Literature Film Adaptations Week: The Depiction of Women in Three Films Based on the Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen

This is a guest review by Alisande Fitzsimons. Danish author Hans Christian Andersen is one of those writers whose stories—like those by the Brothers Grimm and Scheherazade (the Persian Queen who spun the stories that make up A Thousand and One Arabian Nights)—are so much a part of our culture that you undoubtedly heard them, […]

The Four Mothers of ‘Hanna’

                                                                 Saoirse Ronan as Hanna This independent film came and went and while a few friends mentioned it, I didn’t seem to read too much about it, a shame because the film offers a lot for a feminist viewers (Bechdel win!) in it’s portrayal of female friendship, Hanna’s coming of […]

Guest Writer Wednesday: A Feminist Review of ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’

Guest post written by Rachel Redfern originally published at Not Another Wave. Cross-posted with permission. The fairy tale redux is the latest vogue in Hollywood and poor Snow White has been remixed and redone twice in the past year. I didn’t see the Julia Roberts and Nathan Lane adaptation, about which I heard unpleasant things […]

Trailers for ‘Snow White & the Huntsman’ and ‘Mirror, Mirror’ Perpetuate Stereotypes of Women, Beauty & Aging and Pit Women Against Each Other

Charlize Theron as Queen Ravenna and Kristen Stewart as Snow White in ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ Woman obsessed with aging fights her fading beauty. Older woman jealous of  younger woman. Younger woman rescued by a prince. Yep, it’s a tale as old as time that Hollywood keeps churning out. With fairy tales ingrained in […]

Guest Writer Wednesday: Fairy Tales and Female Sexuality

This guest post by Sarah Seltzer originally appeared at RH Reality Check.  Don’t go out into the woods. Beware ugly older women bearing strange gifts. Only a princely kiss can resurrect you. The anti-feminist messages in fairy tales, both in their classic forms from the tales of Grimm, Anderson and Perrault, and their sanitized Disneyfied […]

Quote of the Day: Jennifer L. Pozner

Reality Bites Back: the Troubling Truth about Guilty Pleasure TV by Jennifer L. Pozner (Seal Press) While there are huge swaths of this book I’d like to quote, I’ve chosen a passage from the chapter “Unraveling Reality TV’s Twisted Fairytales: Cinderellas and Cautionary Tales,” which focuses on reality dating programs (such as The Bachelor). It’s […]