Monday, October 31, 2011

***SDSU Nov. 14-15 Guest Speaker Kate Bernheimer is quoted in the article below
(Look for upcoming info on Kate's visit, readings, and talks)

Snow White is still white hot

CHUCK BARNEY , Contra Costa (Calif.) Times

October 31, 2011

The fairy-tale princess is casting her spell on the new TV show "Once Upon a Time," and she's the star of three live-action movies next year.

ABC's "Once Upon a Time" stars Ginnifer Goodwin

When it comes to fairy-tale cred, Snow White is in a league of her own. With the staunch support of her seven little BFFs, she trumped evil, rose from the dead, did the whole royal-wedding thing and made global headlines as the "fairest of them all."

The Snow White comeback tour kicked off when she -- in the form of actress Ginnifer Goodwin -- assumed major prominence in "Once Upon a Time," an new ABC drama from two former "Lost" writers that airs on Sunday nights.

Things will heat up even more next year when rival live-action projects arrive at the cineplex. First up in March is a yet-to-be-titled film from Relativity Media that casts Lily Collins in the role (and Julia Roberts as the Evil Queen). Then, in June, comes Universal's "Snow White and the Huntsman," with Kristen Stewart as the snowy one.

But that's not all. Also set for 2012 is a Disney live-action version that aims to reinvent the saga dramatically.

It remains to be seen if these new productions will make box-office magic or get rejected like a batch of poison apples. But one thing is clear: Snow White hasn't been in this much demand since 1937, when she enjoyed a breakout performance in Walt Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" -- the landmark animated classic that thrills and terrifies children even now.

"'Snow White' is ground zero for fairy tales. It's where they all grow from," says Adam Horowitz, who created "Once Upon a Time" with longtime writing partner Edward Kitsis. "It was the first movie I saw as a kid. Everybody loves the character and loves the story so much that it's going to be continually retold in new and different ways."

But why is Hollywood suddenly piling on now?

Maria Tatar, a Harvard University professor who has written extensively about fairy tales and children's literature, believes the "Shrek" movie series is partly responsible. Those wildly popular animated films put fun new spins on the old standards.

"Before that, Cinderella stories, in various forms, were all over the cinematic landscape," she says. "'Shrek' reminded everyone that there's a whole wide range of fairy-tale characters and that there's more to life than rags-to-riches."

"Hollywood is reading the mood of the public and, in these tough times, people want hope and fantasy," Kitsis says.

"It's a gruesome story with a strong heroine and sublime ending. What's not to like?" says Kate Bernheimer, who founded Fairy Tale Review. "It presents a world where we can experience terror, adventure and bliss. Good will survive amid terrible problems. The underdog will win. It's an adventure story, and its magic is spare: a talking mirror, a shiny object that speaks the truth."

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