I love Peter Pan. Who doesn’t? Who doesn’t enjoy a story about a bunch of kids finding themselves in a magical land and learning awesome new things, like how to fly? I especially love Hook, which takes place years after the original story and features a much older Peter relearning what it’s like to be imaginative again, and how to be a better father. So when I heard that Pan, a prequel to a magical tale I adore so much, was being made, naturally I was giddy with excitement.
Unfortunately, I think I might have gotten my hopes higher than I should. Almost immediately, the internet banded together to criticize the movie’s casting choices, specifically that white actress Rooney Mara is playing the Native American princess, Tiger Lily.
Oh, God, why? Why is this happening?
Sadly, I actually think this still looks like a good movie. I just don’t think I would ever be able to bring myself to watch it because of the casting decision.
Oh man, oh man, oh man. I have been putting this review off for as long as possible because I just have so few positive opinions about this season and I don’t want to have to recap the weird and awkward mess that was the plot. But I guess that’s what they pay me the boonbucks to do, so here we go.
Sarcasm (n): the implication that I am paid in more than Lady Geek Girl’s unending devotion.
While the utter glut of them on the market is oftentimes exhausting, I’m always going to be a fan of fairy tale retellings, sequels, and origin stories. All I ask is that, in putting your own twist on the story, you actually give it a twist. Wicked makes the wicked witch the hero. Ash gives Cinderella a female love interest, and Once Upon A Time makes Little Red Riding Hood the Big Bad Wolf.
I unexpectedly had the chance to see the touring performance of Peter and the Starcatcher last week. Although I own the book the show is based on, I’ve never had a chance to read it, and so I went into the show knowing absolutely nothing about the premise save that it was a Peter Pan prequel. I actually didn’t even know that it wasn’t a musical; I assumed it was, as most of the touring shows that come through my city are. That said, it was one of the most fun shows I’ve seen in a long time, and I highly recommend it.
Belief is a funny thing. When most people talk about belief, they’re usually taking about believing in things that are intangible; things like religion, a cause, or a greater good. Belief is often closely tied to faith. It’s a bit strange to talk about belief in terms of something we can touch or measure, because that kind of belief requires a simple glance over the evidence staring us in the face. It doesn’t really take any effort on our part to agree that something is true when a scientist or other expert has done all the work for us. The more interesting kind of belief requires some component of faith. A large part of faith is believing in something greater than oneself. This sort of belief is crucial to some of the most popular stories in fantasy and science fiction, from Peter Pan to Doctor Who to Serenity to The Hunger Games. It’s this kind of faith in something greater than oneself that gives true power to the characters in these works.
Spoilers for all three Hunger Games books, Doctor Who, and Serenity below.
It’s been a week and a half since the midseason finale of Once Upon a Time’s Season 3, which means I’ve had plenty of time to sit around and figure out what I thought of it. In general, I think it’s moving in a good direction, but I still have some complaints. Specificity (and therefore spoilers) after the jump.
The sad tragedy of storytelling is that many of our old myths, legends, and fables are built off sexist tropes and ideologies. The sexy vixen, the wicked witch, and the damsel in distress are all classic tropes in storytelling that have been ingrained so heavily in our culture that the everyday person can easily pick them out and identify them. These narratives that so often portray women as weak or evil are especially harmful when we continue to indoctrinate future generations with these sexist tales.
Can we ever undo what these past stories have done to women? Sadly, probably not, but perhaps we can lessen the effects by re-telling and re-interpreting these same stories from a feminist perspective. The advantage here is that writers can take tried and true narratives and characters that people already like, and then make them more complex. The characters and plots of the original stories are often stereotypes or flat, archetypal characters. Reinterpreting these stories with more complexity has the benefit of causing people to like them more than the original by updating them for a modern audience.
There are many stories that have been reinterpreted over the years through a feminist lens, like Cinderella (Ever After), many of Grimm’s Fairy Tales (Once Upon a Time, Fables, etc.) and many more, but there are so many other stories that need a feminist revamp. So here are five stories that I would love to see get a feminist makeover for a contemporary audience.