» hans christian andersen

De Vilde Svaner

I’m always on the lookout for new adaptations of lesser-known fairy tales, and just over a month ago I was lucky enough to find one practically on my doorstep, at the National Gallery of Art. De Vilde Svaner (The Wild Swans) is one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most beautiful stories, and I had high expectations.

The more I read about this production, an hour-long Danish production with art design created by–no joke–Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, the more apprehensive I became. A film with d├ęcoupage backdrops and actors greenscreened in? I just wasn’t convinced that they’d be able to pull it off.

And oh boy, was I wrong!… Read More

Dancing and War

This week’s reading for my individual study was an anthology of fairy tale retellings. As is generally the case with anthologies, some stories were stronger than others, but the ones that really struck me tended to recontextualize the source material in a wholly unexpected way. We’re used to retellings from the villain’s point of view, excusing his or her actions. We’re also used to feminist reworkings of popular stories like “Sleeping Beauty” and “Cinderella” in which the heroine is given a much less passive role. These are not the kind I’m talking about.… Read More