Friday, December 27, 2002
Just discovered that "The Singing Ringing Tree" is available on DVD, and immediately ordered it. Mostly because I want to find out what it was about. When I was five or six I watched it on TV ("Tales from Europe" a sort of low-budget BBC thing where they'd buy European children's programs and then not really dub them, just have a narrator explaining what was happening, if I remember rightly) and have odd memories of an evil dwarf, a prince turned into a bear, and a hard-hearted princess. And the singing ringing tree, which sang and rang, although I couldn't for the life of me tell you why.

"Imagine a fairy tale conceived by Wagner and directed by Fritz Lang, with nods in the direction of The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari and German expressionism, and you'd be close. The hyper-real coloring process of the time, together with the quasi-operatic sets and theatrical acting styles make this European classic fascinating viewing for adults, while children will be mesmerized by this unfamiliar, haunting, yet compelling film," says the reviewer, and that's more or less what I remember from my childhood (except, of course, for the colour, which hadn't been invented then). So I've ordered it, and may even inflict it on my family.