Archives For Faerie

There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans out there, sometimes more than I can write about in-depth in any given week. So The Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up.

That’s it for now! Feel free to discuss any of these links in the comments, some of these I may expand into longer posts as needed.

“Mexican director Guillermo del Toro has started to look like a legitimate successor to Ovid. Del Toro is not so much a creator of myths as a collector of them, a transhistorical myth nerd whose pantheon of influences ranges from Hesiod to Harryhausen (with liberal helpings of steam punk and Catholic iconography).”Dana Stevens,

The thing that startled me the most about “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” was that the emotional climax of the film, at least for me, didn’t involve any of the main characters. Instead, the longest and most lingering sadness comes after a confrontation with a forest elemental. I won’t give anything away, but this scene, and several smaller scenes like it throughout “Hellboy”, underscore a theme director Guillermo del Toro has been exploring through much of his work. Most notably in the Academy Award-winning “Pan’s Labyrinth”. The conflict between a world filled with enchantment, and one that denies the imagination, that eradicates the sacredness of our world.

Hellboy vs. the forest elemental.

While the representation of soulless clockwork progress is represented by Spanish fascists in “Pan’s Labyrinth”, in “The Golden Army” humanity itself is suspect. As the Christianity Today review ponders: “Is the human race worth saving?”

“In the original Hellboy, the villains were adversaries like demons, Nazis, gods of chaos, assassins and necromancers—characters understood to be evil more or less by nature or by definition … Hellboy II shifts from this kind of mythic good-vs-evil storytelling to something more like classical mythology, with variously flawed characters on all sides.”

The character of Hellboy, wanting nothing more than to be “out” and loved by the people he secretly protects, is stunned when he isn’t greeted as a hero and is instead treated as a spectacle at best, and a danger at worst. The movie asks, in a variety of ways, should he really be on humanity’s side? Does humanity, with its various sins against a dying world of faerie, and an increasingly poisoned Earth, even deserve saving? The film never directly answers that question, though you can be fairly certain that Del Toro himself would prefer a humanity that didn’t seem so eager to do away with the strange and fantastical.

Guillermo del Toro supports HETFET!

Of course “Hellboy” is also a big summer action film, and there are plenty of explosions, fights, comedic moments, and one-liners to please those who want nothing more than two hours of entertainment. However, unlike the stupid and nihilistic “Wanted”, or the enjoyable but uneven “Incredible Hulk”, Del Toro wraps his entry into Summer blockbuster season with layers of insight and deeper meaning for those looking for something more. What other summer blockbuster can successfully pen love-letters to James Whale and Hayao Miyazaki while including a Barry Manilow sing-along?

“Hellboy II: The Golden Army” isn’t “Pan’s Labyrinth”, but it is an enjoyable Summer film that reaches further than any genre film is expected to. Do yourself a favor and experience the amazing visuals on a big screen, you’ll be glad you did. Wild Hunt approved and recommended!

Life has been good for director Guillermo del Toro lately. His 2006 film “Pan’s Labyrinth” was widely acclaimed by critics (winning three Academy Awards), and he was recently tapped to direct the two Hobbit films (under the watchful eye of Peter Jackson). In between these two momentous events comes the July release of “Hellboy II: The Golden Army”, which continues to mine the rich themes of myth, faith, choice, and the imagination.

“I think it’s the primal motor of human endeavor,” said del Toro about his fascination with exploring mythology and fantasy in his films. “All human endeavor: spiritual, physical, social. I think myth makes humans what we are, it is the essence of being human, the capacity to invent. No raccoon worships the god of the trash can and we do. There are plenty of people that worship in search of a spiritual meaning. Anyone that says, ‘Okay, we are this or that many chromosomes away from being an ape,’ they should consider imagination as one thing that is a huge chasm between us.”

The old, horned, king of the otherworld.

In this follow-up to the 2004 cult-hit, del Toro seems to be expanding on his fascination with the fairy-inhabited “otherworld” from “Pan’s Labyrinth”. This time with the threat of an all-out war between fairy-folk and humanity. Hellboy creator, and film co-writer, Mike Mignola, compares fae/human tensions in the movie to the history of American Indian struggles.

“The focus is more on the folklore and fairy tale aspect of Hellboy. It’s not Nazis, machines and mad scientists but the old gods and characters who have been kind of shoved out of our world. I kind of equate it to the whole American Indian situation. The Indians were shoved onto reservations. You had your old, wise Indians who said, “You know, this is the way it is. We can’t fight anymore. We just have to accept our fate.” You then have your Geronimo character saying, “Or we could just kill the White Man.” That’s kind of the situation we have in the film. We have our elf characters resigning to the way things are and then there’s one saying, “Or we could take the world back.” The main difference is – what if the Indians had a nuclear warhead? The elves have their equivalent of the weapon that is too terrible to use. What if this guy decided to use it?”

Building on that theme, a viral marketing web site called HETFET, Humans for the Ethical Treatment of Fairies, Elves, and Trolls, has emerged.

HETFET logo.

“We know that every minute of every day, all across the world, terrible crimes are taking place all around us. But the victims of these crimes can’t ask for help because humanity turns a deaf ear to the segment of society that we once called “mythical creatures.” Not anymore. At HETFET, it is our unwavering belief that these misunderstood beings deserve the same rights as those given to animals or people. No more, no less; just the right to coexist and be left alone.”

Needless to say, the Pagan overtones of the site, complete with a real petition to save old-growth forests, are palpable. With the otherworldly action, a film preview sporting massive pre-historic Venus figurines, and a trip through a “Troll market” (not to mention a horned god/king!), this Hellboy film is shaping up to be a real treat for the Pagan film-goer. I’m very much looking forward to seeing it in July.

Stardust Trailer

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  March 27, 2007 — 1 Comment

The trailer for the film adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s fantasy novel “Stardust” has been released, and can now be found on YouTube.

With the magical themes and adventures within the land of Faerie, not to mention Gaiman’s already enormous popularity among modern Pagans, I’m sure many of my readers will be looking forward to this one. No doubt you’ll hear more about the film on this blog as news and interviews start to surface.