Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Nate Hood's Quarantine Qapsule # 44 Fairytale  ★★★
Except for one thing: Mrs. Fairytale appears to be turning into a man. Well, two things: she’s also falling madly, and carnally, in love with Mrs. Emerald. Fairytale is an Italian parable of transsexual awakening that bases itself in kitschy Americana as a tribute to the Golden Age of Hollywood, using the vibrant Technicolor melodramas of Douglas Sirk as a starting point to create an imaginary, plasticine world where the fabric of reality warps as readily as Mrs. Fairytale’s genitals. But Mauri and Timi do more than ape the visual aesthetics of Sirk’s era, they also retrofit modern American anxieties like rampant gun violence (Mrs. Fairytale keeps a gun-rack by her front door for guests to store their rifles like they were umbrellas) alongside traditional Cold War ones like alien invaders and UFOs.
This Italian pantomime of American culture sometimes overlaps its primary focus on Mrs. Fairytale’s transsexual transformation, which by the third act almost collapses in on itself with a strange twist ending suggesting everything might (or might not) have been a dream. Still, as a visual experience and exploration of sexual identity Fairytale is fascinating, if not necessarily essential.