Untitled on We Heart It.
When reality television star and fashion blogger Lauren Conrad was asked what her “favorite position” was on a live radio program a while back, the women listening held their breath. Although we take great pride in the work that we do, most of us could relate to being undermined and belittled publicly at work. When Conrad cleverly retorted “CEO,” it was hard not to aggressively high-five our laptop and mobile devices. The words “hell” and “yeah” could be heard all across the nation.
“I’ve poked my head into theaters in L.A. for that moment just to hear people gasp,” director Marc Webb tells EW. “It’s fascinating. People just don’t believe it.” Webb understands. He felt much the same way when Gwen Stacy was killed off in the comic. “It stayed with me in a profound way. It broke me. I was anxious and curious to explore it on the screen. From the very beginning I planned on doing it,” he says. “For me, everything in the movie was built around that moment. There’s a cost to being a hero.”
But there was another theme that greatly interested Webb: “[The movie] is also about time and about valuing the time you have with the one you love,” he says. He points out that the very first shot of the film is a ticking clock, and that its first line is Richard Parker saying, “I wish I had more time.” Time is the underlying theme of Gwen’s valedictorian speech, and her last fateful moments take place where? At a clock tower. “Ultimately, it’s not the Goblin that kills Gwen,” says Webb. “They’re fighting in the cogs, in the machinery of the clock tower, and Spider-Man puts his foot in between the cogs and literally tries to stop time. That’s what causes her death—his inability, despite his enormous efforts, to stop time.”
In medieval culture, an event like a royal christening is not a private party; it’s the public social event of the year. To not invite any person of rank to such an event is a deadly insult.
Maleficent is certainly someone you wouldn’t want at a party, but she’s also someone powerful enough that only a fool would ever dare treat her with such blatant disrespect. The only way the King and Queen could possibly have gotten away with not inviting Maleficent was to not invite any of the fairies at all; inviting the other fairies and excluding her is explicitly taking sides in the conflict between the fairy factions.
Which means they made themselves her sworn enemies, and she responded by treating them as such from then on. If you actually get into analyzing the social dynamics of the scene, it’s very clear that Maleficent was willing to show mercy at first by giving the King and Queen a chance to apologize for their disrespect to her. She doesn’t curse Aurora until after she gives them that chance and they throw it back in her face with further disrespect.
And yeah, if the King and Queen had done the properly respectful thing and invited her, Maleficent would have given Aurora a scary awesome present. Moreover so would the other fairies, because at that point both sides would be using it as an opportunity to show off and one-up each other. What they gave her before Maleficent showed up was basically just trivial party favors by fairy standards.
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