Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

To Tell The Tale

I was going to review Alice, but I can't find it on Netflix. I started writing an interesting intro to it and it's taking me places so let's go.

Okay let's play catch up. About a month ago give or take I said that I wanted to watch a good miniseries and thought of Alice. On second thought I decided to watch Tin Man instead because, Alice is the spiritual successor to Tin Man. Same basic idea, made by the same basic people, but... better.

Tin Man had a lot of really good ideas that got bogged down in a flawed execution. The script and acting were a bit wonky. Alice was essentially a do over. Same basic plot, same basic concept except with the benefit of experience.

See, Tin Man had a lot of problems, but I always thought the general idea of taking a familiar children's tale and updating to be a dark gritty science fiction story had merit. Heck a lot of my favorite stories are retellings. I love Daughter of the Forest, which is basically an extended version of the "Six Swans", and I also like Enchantment, which is basically "Sleeping Beauty" mashed up with Ivan the Fool and Baba Yaga playing the roles of The Prince and Witch.

Why? Well folk tales tend to get simplified. See the the thing about these types of stories is that they have to be simple enough so they can be retold COHERENTLY orally. Think of your favorite movie. The one you can quote backwards and forwards. Now try to retell it ... without sounding like a babbling idiot.

Hard ain't it.

Because of that simplicity they have a lot of room for expansion. I love the BBCs Robin Hood. Hell half of my ethos is based of father of all rogues. 

And don't get me started on all the bad ass versions of Merlin and Arthur I've seen.

The characters in these stories tend to get boiled down to their most defining trait, but it's interesting to see them when their that and more. People forget but a crap ton of Shakespeare's work was retelling some older story, MacBeth, Romeo and Juliet, Pericles, the Prince of Tyre, and don't get me started on the histories.

It's okay to mine a legend. That said what are some I wouldn't mind seeing more of.

Well. John Henry. He's Black and unquestionably American. Since the advent of television, comic books and modern mass media people forget we have our own folk tales. Let's use 'em.

Speaking of American, how about Coyote there are some good places you can go with that.

Or what about CĂș Chulainn he's got some bad ass stories.

Point is I need to watch Sinbad.

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