Genre Film, The Fairytale Within the Fairytale, and a Swan Song of Sorts...

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Episode 5 of Persephone is called The Enchantress.  In this episode Persephone not only begins her physical journey up from the Underworld, but also her emotional journey through the cycle.

Though The Tale of the Deer Queen episode was presented as a fairytale, The Enchantress holds stronger archetypes of this genre: the wise woman in the woods, a riddle to gain passage, the forest, a reference to Red Riding Hood... For me, it is the episode that most feels like a fairytale, and delivers its own moral message. 

(Carrie Anne Hunt - Persephone, Josie Lawson - The Enchantress)

It is also a passage of my own.  When I began this series, I always intended it to be a "swan song" for me in this genre.  My work and creative mind/heart are shifting.  This doesn't mean that myths and fairytales will cease to inspire me, quite the opposite, I love this genre - but my films will no longer be straight up interpretations of fairytales, or fantasy.  I sit better in the magic realist world - which definitely goes hand in hand with the latter - but is a broader range for me to work within.  HELL was the first move away, and TITANIA will be the next.  Titania is inspired by Shakespeare's fairy queen, but it's never been a fairytale to me.  It's more a mystery (if I were to assign a genre to it).  There is no fantasy, no magic on screen, you never see her with wings.  I tried to cram it into that fantasy box once with the "Titania Prequel" and it stalled. Once I took it out of that convention and freed up it's boundaries, the story started to run.  

I'm not entirely sure what has caused the shift - a different perspective on life, perhaps one that has been trying to emerge for a long time.  As artists, we go where our hearts lead us. I think we should explore genre, and not limit ourselves narratively, visually or creatively.  You can carry your own unique vision through several story types. Genre is not what defines a director, it is so much more than that. We would never limit ourselves to only one kind of opportunity in life, so why do that to our art?

It's all a new journey I'm ready to take and am excited about. In upcoming films, a well-known 20th century painter, the silent film era, and the American Revolution will all be points of inspiration - filtered through my magic realist lens.  But once Persephone walks out of the fairytale forest, I'll follow.  And it will probably be a long time before I return.  

About the author


I'm Lisa Stock, a writer and director based in New York. My films include “The Silent Nick and Nora”, “The Jules Verne Project”, and “HELL”. My work has been featured in festivals and screenings around the world including Cannes, London, New York, New Orleans, Tel Aviv, and Sao Paulo. I’ve…

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