Ever since the 1970s, the Spaniard Arrieta has been building an oeuvre that is admired in underground circles and by his colleagues. Now he is past 70, he is finally able to work with a fully-fledged budget and some well-known French film stars. In the fairy-tale beauty of Brittany, an anachronistic update of Sleeping Beauty unfolds.
This modern version of the fairytale Sleeping Beauty is set in the year 2000 and situated in the fictional state of Letonia. Egon, a 'perfect prince' who prefers to spend his days bored and playing his drum set, goes looking for Sleeping Beauty in defiance of his father in the overgrown, enchanted forest of the Kingdom of Kentz. She fell into a deep sleep a century ago after pricking her finger on a spinning wheel, just as a wicked fairy (cult actress Ingrid Caven) had predicted.
For the scenes set in 1900, veteran director Adolfo Arrieta (1942) imitates the slightly faded and magical palette of early colour photography. He is both slightly ironic – one of the good fairies works for Unesco, restoring ruins – and deadly serious. The idea that it might not be all that bad to have slept through the entire, violent twentieth century is also challenging. In the meantime, magic has been replaced by technology, is the suggestion of Sleeping Beauty.