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Fairy Tales

January 10, 2013 | By Adam Tschorn
Costume designers for period films and fairy-tale flicks dominated the nominations for best achievement in costume design for the 85th annual Academy Awards announced this morning, including previous Oscar winners Colleen Atwood and Eiko Ishioka, nominated for "Snow White and the Huntsman" and "Mirror Mirror," respectively. In addition to Atwood, who took home Oscars for her work on "Chicago," "Memoirs of a Geisha" and "Alice in Wonderland,"  and Ishioka, who won for 1992's "Dracula" (and who passed away in January 2012 from pancreatic cancer)
February 27, 2014 | By Stacey D'Erasmo
The risks that Helen Oyeyemi takes in her fifth novel, "Boy, Snow, Bird," are astonishing in their boldness. "Nobody ever warned me about mirrors," begins the narrator, Boy, a pale white girl in Manhattan's East Village whose rat-catcher father beats her until she runs away to a small town in Massachusetts and marries a man she doesn't love. It is 1953. The man she doesn't love, a widower, has a small child, also very pale and very beautiful, and very beloved by all, named Snow. In time, Boy and her husband have their own child, Bird, who is black; this is how Boy discovers that her husband and much of his family have been passing for white.
April 17, 2011 | By Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times
All grown up, Hansel and Gretel return to the forest to exact revenge on their childhood tormentors. Snow White escapes the Evil Queen and takes up with a group of Shaolin monks. And after leaving Kansas, carnival barker Oscar Diggs remakes himself as a wizard in the Emerald City. Childhood classics as seen through a fun-house mirror? Well, yes. But for the film business, it's also something far more consequential: its future. Movie studios are taking timeless stories from authors such as the Brothers Grimm and L. Frank Baum and reimagining them with a modern, playful sensibility.
January 4, 2014 | By Randy Lewis
Taylor Swift energetically paced the room of her West Hollywood hotel on a recent visit to Los Angeles. "I'm trying to outrun the jet lag," she said with a smile, looking far from ragged in her matching purple sweater and skirt. Before landing in L.A., she'd flown from Australia to London, then on to Nashville on her way back from the latest leg of her "Red" tour. But Swift, 24, is nothing if not game to be front and center for every facet of her career, so she committed to the schlep to L.A. for a Directors Guild of America screening of "One Chance," the film that's earned her a second Golden Globe Award nomination for her original song, "Sweeter Than Fiction.
April 17, 2010 | By Lauren Beale, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Moby, as DJ and singer-songwriter Richard Melville Hall is known, has purchased Wolf's Lair, a Hollywood Hills castle-like fortress with views of the Hollywood sign, downtown and the ocean, for $3,925,000. The sellers are Lionsgate Entertainment's Jay Faires and Debbie Matenopoulos, former co-host of "The View" (1997-99). Wolf's Lair was built in 1927 by Hollywoodland developer L. Milton Wolf. Moby, who will be moving from the East Coast, plans to restore the walled and gated property in keeping with its period charm.
December 20, 2012 | By Deborah Netburn
The brothers Grimm, recipients of today's Google Doodle, published a book of fairy tales 200 years ago that would come to define bedtime reading for millions of children over two centuries. Thursday's doodle tells the story of Little Red Riding Hood. Twenty-one different slides depict her journey from town, to woods, to Grandma's house, to wolf's belly, to freedom in the arms of a burly woodsman. The story is universally known -- one we grew up on, and our parents grew up on, and their parents before them.  But Google could have chosen half a dozen other stories published by the German brothers that are similarly embedded in our culture.
November 21, 2010 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski and Claudia Eller, Los Angeles Times
Once upon a time, there was a studio in Burbank that spun classic fairy tales into silver-screen gold. But now the curtain is falling on "princess movies," which have been a part of Disney Animation's heritage since the 1937 debut of its first feature film, "Snow White. " The studio's Wednesday release of "Tangled," a contemporary retelling of the Rapunzel story, will be the last fairy tale produced by Disney's animation group for the foreseeable future. "Films and genres do run a course," said Pixar Animation Studios chief Ed Catmull, who along with director John Lasseter oversees Disney Animation.
March 28, 1992
A group of elementary students from the Santa Clarita Valley held a mock trial where the Three Little Pigs sued the Big Bad Wolf for damages. The trial was the culmination of a series of classes on ethics in fairy tales. The students who participated are enrolled in an after-school gifted students program. The mock trial, held at the Newhall District Municipal Court Thursday night, was conducted by two attorneys, Gonzalo Freixes and his wife, Graciela, who played the judge.
November 29, 1989
Hundreds of parents in East Whittier and Hacienda La Puente school districts, following previous protests in Oregon and Washington, want school boards to purge the classrooms of a series of books that they believe are morbid and promote magic and devil worship. Before they get too upset, they might want to revisit some of the tattered storybooks they used to read at grandma's house. Here's one passage they would find in "Snow White": "Take the child into the darkest part of the forest.
July 18, 2010 | By Sonja Bolle, Special to the Los Angeles Times
It's not hard to explain the appeal of magic. Got to clean your room? Wave a wand! Hungry? Utter a spell and a table appears, loaded with all the foods you like. Of course, there are always complications. What spell turns the pot off, so you won't drown in oatmeal? How should you word the wish for riches, so you don't get clobbered by a falling bag of gold? No one needs the moral spelled out: It's not that simple, stupid. There are rules. And the rules are what make stories about magic work.
December 12, 2013 | By Susan King
William Wyler's enchanting 1953 Cinderella-esque comedy, "Roman Holiday," made Audrey Hepburn an overnight sensation. She not only won the Academy Award for best actress but she also received a Golden Globe, a British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award and the New York Film Critics Circle honor for her role as Ann, a sheltered princess on a goodwill tour of Europe who escapes her guardians in Rome and finds adventure and a storybook romance....
December 4, 2013 | By Oliver Gettell
As a member of Hollywood royalty, a fashion icon and an Academy Award-winning actress, Anjelica Huston has led a full life - so much so that she's taking two books to tell her story. The first, “A Story Lately Told” (Scribner: 272 pp., $25), recounts her childhood in western Ireland, her teen years in London and her days as a model in New York City. (Her follow-up, “Watch Me,” is expected in fall 2014.) Raised by her swashbuckling filmmaker father, John Huston, and her elegant mother, onetime ballerina Enrica Soma, on a sprawling Irish estate called St. Clerans, Huston, now 62, was surrounded by larger-than-life personalities and colorful characters from an early age - from the actors, authors and nobles who constantly visited to the many and varied caretakers and tutors who populated her home.
November 25, 2013 | By Elaine Woo
Conrad Susa, a prolific composer for voice and stage whose works include the widely produced 1973 opera "Transformations," based on poet Anne Sexton's retelling of Grimm's fairy tales, has died at his home in San Francisco. He was 78. Susa died in his sleep Thursday after a long period of decline following a serious fall, said Byron Adams, a UC Riverside musicologist who is an executor of Susa's estate. A longtime professor of composition at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Susa wrote five operas, including " The Dangerous Liaisons," based on the 18th century French epistolary tale of erotic scheming by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos.
October 29, 2013 | By Jessica Gelt
This post has been corrected. Please see note at bottom of details. Nightlife iconoclast Simon Hammerstein has come to Los Angeles to act as the first artistic director of a new club in West Hollywood called DBA. The club is located in the former Voyeur space and will be as much a performance space and art gallery as it will be a dance club and drinking den. For the project, Hammerstein collaborated with the club's owners, Beau Laughlin and...
October 26, 2013 | By Alene Dawson
Halloween is the time to indulge those seemingly pathological cravings to get scared out of your skull. Who in their right mind would subject themselves to blood-splattery horror movies or haunted houses blaring high-pitched screams while serving bowls of grapes dressed as slimy, edible eyeballs? Lots of us, and experts say good can actually come from these predilections. Fear protects us "People think being afraid is a bad thing, but the reason we evolved to be afraid is that the world is pretty dangerous and we've evolved very powerful systems that automatically force us to do our natural defensive and protective behaviors," says Michael Fanselow, a UCLA behavioral neuroscientist.
August 4, 2013 | By Jessica Gelt
With its prominent use of CGI and helter-skelter mash-ups of fairy tales from across the literary spectrum, ABC's new fantasy-based drama "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland" is like a "psychedelic romance," said writer and co-creator Edward Kitsis during the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Beverly Hills on Sunday. A spinoff of the 2011 ABC show "Once Upon a Time," which was also created by Kitsis and "Wonderland" co-creator Adam Horowitz, this new show finds the famous Alice (Sophie Lowe)
November 30, 2012 | By Mindy Farabee
Fairy Tales From the Brothers Grimm A New English Version Philip Pullman Viking: 400 pp, $27.95 Freudian, Marxist, feminist - fairy tales have famously been put through any number of academic paces, mined for their politics, their unconscious symbolism, their cultural freight and transformative powers. These tales, nearly allegorically flat, cut to the chase of human nightmares: hungry wolves and evil stepmothers. Here are life's fundamental anxieties by proxy, what Harvard professor Maria Tatar called "the great existential mysteries, in a miniature and manageable form.
June 27, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Susan Choi's fourth novel, "My Education," is a tricky book to categorize. On the one hand, it's a campus novel, narrated by Regina Gottlieb, a graduate student in literature who falls under the sway of a charismatic professor and his wife at a university a lot like Cornell in the early 1990s. At the same time, this is just the background against which the larger story unfolds. What Choi - a Guggenheim fellow whose 2004 novel "American Woman" was a Pulitzer finalist - is after is the elusive territory of experience, the way people and events imprint us when we're young and then linger, exerting a subtle pressure over how we live our lives.
May 23, 2013 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
"Epic," a fairy tale about a tiny universe of creatures who protect the forest, has many virtues. The animation is lush and imaginative. The 3-D effects are stunning, among the best we've seen. The coming-of-age ideas are framed in eco-friendly ways. And the voice talent - an eclectic mix that includes Amanda Seyfried, Jason Sudeikis, Colin Farrell, Christoph Waltz, Josh Hutcherson, Chris O'Dowd, Aziz Ansari, Pitbull and Beyoncé - is excellent. The story is a classic one of good versus evil.
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