Sundays in December, Watershed and Bristol Festival of Ideas present a season of sophisticated fairytales, twisted imagery and gothic mysticism to mark the 25th anniversary of the death of one of the most distinctive literary voices of the last 100 years.
Angela Carter lived in Bristol from 1960 for nearly a decade, studying at Bristol University where she specialised in medieval literature, which piqued her interest in the gothic themes explored throughout her writing. The recurring themes of feminism, mysticism and sexuality found in her work and her lifelong interest in the farther shores of the imagination – in fantasy, and most specifically in fairytales – is explored in this sumptuous cinematic labyrinth of fantastical films for grown-ups.
From Jean Cocteau’s much loved landmark of cinematic fantasy La Belle et La Bete (Sun 4 Dec) and Matteo Garrone’s outlandish, grotesque and beguiling fantasy Tale of Tales (Sun 11 Dec), to one of cinema’s greatest fairytales – Guillermo del Toro’s modern masterpiece of gothic fantasy Pan’s Labyrinth (Sun 18 Dec). Come and fall under their spell.
Jean Cocteau’s sublime adaptation of Mme. Leprince de Beaumont’s fairytale masterpiece—in which the pure love of a beautiful girl melts the heart of a feral but gentle beast— is a much loved landmark of cinematic fantasy.
Guillermo del Toro’s vivid fantasy as seen through the eyes of a young girl and set in contrast to the bloody endgame of the Spanish Civil War is a modern masterpiece of gothic horror and one of cinema’s greatest fairytales.