Snow White, with hair as black as brown?

There has recently been an influx of fairy tales, particularly new variations of Snow White, in both movie theaters and book stores. I think we can thank J.K. Rowling and Gregory Maguire for the current interest in both fantasy as a genre, and fairy tale adaptations in particular. I was buoyed when I saw the interest in fairy tales in generally, and a bit crushed when I realized they currently encompass multiple adaptations of Snow White, as I have spent the last three years writing my own adaptation. I was particularly slayed when I saw advertisements for Snow White and the Huntsman, with the gorgeous Charlize Theron as a well cast ice queen, and the lush imagery of black ravens scattering like ink on snow, the scarlet battle flags, and Charlize emerging from a bath like a white chocolate figurine. The contrasts of colors, red and black against white, as analogies for the protaganists are what make Snow White such a compelling subject. However, I was equally cheered and cheesed when I realized they were casting the single note Kristen Stewart as Snow White. Aggh!
I still wanted to be blown away, to be rocked by a vibrant, lush film, the way I was once years ago by Queen Margot, and then by Pan’s Labyrinth. I wanted to be exposed to creative and innovative imagery, and fleshed out characters, the way I was by Lord of the Rings. I wanted to care about the characters, and be moved by the beauty. Give me the magic of Ridley Scott’s Legend, the adventure of Willow, the romance of Room with a View. I know, I want too much! But did I have to be so dreadfully disappointed (and gleeful;) all at once? For goodness sake, I didn’t rent Twilight! All I could think was “pull your sleeve up bedroom eyes! Kick ass princess heroines do NOT let their sleeves drape come hither”ish”-WE did that when we were 10 and pretending to be seductive. Shouldn’t the movie reach beyond the yearnings of our 10 year old hearts? Didn’t it promise to in the ads?
The trailer promised so much; the movie delivered so little. I have been on a little Pinterest jag lately about posters from National Book day, and it brings me full circle to the origin of my little adventure in writing. I walked into a library (in Vancouver, BC) one day, and saw this gorgeous rendition of Snow White, by Jessie Wilcox Smith. And I became obsessed with it. The perfection of the colors and composition, in regard to the story. Of course Snow White would have had this inky, cloudy hair, and “just woke up from a nap” rosie cheeks. She was a child. This was a Snow White I would get on board with. She looks just like my eight year old did when she woke up. Why can’t the movies get it right? They didn’t even try to dye Kristen’s hair black, and let’s forget about pretending she holds a candle to Charlize Theron. Or, to my great dissatisfaction, Ginnifer Goodwin as a husband stealing, whiny Snow White? Nothing about her compels my sympathy or interest. Even Victoria Secret knows that when you pick an Angel, she needs to be someone women will relate to and like. If an underwear company can get it right, why can’t ABC? Sigh. And Disney just made it a parody. At least they delivered on the beauty. But it played more like a music video than a narrative. I want someone to deliver.

C.S. Lewis said “someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” I am definitely there! But now I’m writing them, so I can read them the way I want them. If you’re interested in reading it, I’ll be putting up a new chapter each week. If not, I will be on here posting about my other passions-films, art and books. Hope we can be friends! (Let’s begin the way many great friendships do-by basing it on our mutual contempt for Kristen Stewart. If you’re not feeling it, I may not be your cup o’ tea!) Thanks for stopping by!

-Kate