The past couple of weeks have been quite full on for me, for a lot of reasons, but any month that includes seeing a 1920s animated fairy tale must be a good one.
The Gallery of Modern Art has recently been running a series of fairy tale themed films and on the 16th it screened ‘The Adventures of Prince Achmed‘, an animated fantasy from 1926 that could easily be retitled ‘The Fire Witch Saves Everybody, Always’. It was written, directed and co-animated by Lotte Reiniger, a pioneer of the industry and probably qualifiable as a Cranky Lady. Based on two different stories from the Arabian Nights, it’s like watching exquisitely intricate shadow puppets, and this particular performance was accompanied by gorgeous live music. While there are instances of the racism and sexism you might expect from a creation of the period, there are pleasantly surprising twists too. I’ll say it again: Fire. Witch. Is. Awesome. The princes are there largely to be tricked by sorcery and lament about their unlucky love lives.
In other March news:
- Cranky Ladies of History is officially fully funded! They’re down to the final few days of crowdfunding and contributions will now go towards their stretch goal of adding more stories to the anthology. Tehani and Tansy have done a fabulous job rounding up blog posts to promote the anthology – some of the names on the list are familiar, others completely unknown, but all make for fascinating discoveries.
- Talking of cranky ladies, the Mary Sue recently posted about female military leaders throughout history, and L.M. Myles posted for the blog tour on the same topic. They’re not so much cranky, actually, as gloriously wrathful.
- The Mary Sue has also posted an interesting essay on the portrayal of women in Sherlock Holmes-based TV series Elementary.
- It turns out a woman may have invented the first ever costumed superhero.
- Tumblr has just introduced me to baby monsters. I did not know I needed this.