Authored by: Pauline Greenhill

The Routledge Companion to Media and Fairy-Tale Cultures

Print publication date:  April  2018
Online publication date:  March  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138946156
eBook ISBN: 9781315670997
Adobe ISBN:


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Cinema using fairy-tale stories, characters, names, images, motifs, and themes dates from film’s earliest history. This chapter explores mainly live-action films for adults, which look at the more serious side of fairy tales. I use as examples two “Hansel and Gretel” films: The Night of the Hunter (directed by Charles Laughton, 1955) and Criminal Lovers (Les Amants Criminels) (directed by François Ozon, 1999). They address issues of family and community, including the very quotidian nature of harms against children, in ways that destabilize normative expectations not only for fairy tales, but also for society.

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