12 December 2009

Needles or pins

An underground cult classic. This Little Red Riding Hood is a short film directed by David Kaplan and narrated by Quentin Crisp. It premiered in 1997 on the Sundance Film Festival.
The film follows the storyline of The Story of Grandmother rather than Little Red Riding Hood (Perrault) or Little Red Cap (Grimm). The Story of Grandmother is a record made by Paul Delarue of a pre-Perrault tale that was retold for centuries by the camp fires in France.
The story is very short. Maria Tatar recapitulated it as follows:
“This Gallic heroine escapes falling victim to the wolf and instead joins the ranks of trickster figures. After arriving at grandmother’s house and unwittingly eating “meat” and drinking “wine” that turns out to be the flesh and blood of her grandmother, she performs a striptease for the wolf, gets into bed with him, and escapes by pleading with the wolf for a chance to go outdoors and relieve herself.”
In the context of its time, this was no tale for children. This was adult entertainment, a running storytelling performance delivered with suspense and crude humour.
For the listeners knew then as they know now that it is completely inevitable. Little Red Riding Hood will get to the Grandmother’s house and encounter a wolf, regardless of whether she takes the path of pins or the path of needles. The duel between the wolf and the little red is expected as soon as we followed her into the woods.
Always the bets are taken and we always play, hoping against hope that she will be more like Sheherezade.

No comments:

Post a Comment