LA BELLE AU BOIS DORMANT (1935)
aka Sleeping Beauty
Article 5235 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Alexander Alexeieff
What it is: Freaked-out fairy tale
A prince journeys through a castle to find and waken Sleeping Beauty.
If yesterday’s movie was a somewhat inconsequential entry in Alexeieff’s oeuvre, this one is not. It’s a surreal but balletic puppet animation telling of the climax of the Sleeping Beauty story, with rather trippy and somewhat abstract moments. In some ways, Alexeieff comes off here as a slightly less grotesque version of Wladyslaw Starewicz, but the style has a very different feel to it. I really can’t describe this one, and it doesn’t really work on a linear level; it plays with its various ideas, and even throws in characters from other fairy tales; Puss in Boots and Red Riding Hood pop up. This marks the third Alexeieff movie I’ve seen, and all three of them have proven to be very different from each other. I look forward to seeing more of his work.