If Pee-wee Herman and David Lynch dropped acid together, their shared vision might just be like Sebastiano Mauri’s Fairytale. It is set in a fever dream version of America in the 1950s, though it’s in Italian with English subtitles, which adds another delightfully lyrical layer to the madness. In Italian, the title of the film is Favola, or legend.
Mrs. Fairtyale (Filippo Timi) runs an orderly madhouse full of Americana kitsch, crazy angles, and a saturated bleeding-from-the-eyes palette. Fairytale spends her days ensconced in the house in her most elegant dresses and shoes, makeup and hair immaculate, guzzling whiskey infused teas, indulging in sinful mambo lessons, and fretting over threats from aliens.
“Fairytale frantically flails around…until finally, she must confront the fact that she’s a man…”
She is trapped in several metaphors at once, with her dream home being a prison. Her husband, Stan (Sergio Albelli), is an off-screen menace who’s dreaded daily return from work is the focus of her daily preparation. She frequently alludes to being sexually abused and battered by him.
Fairytale frantically flails around the house, dashing from one drama to the next, until finally, she must confront the fact that she’s a man trapped in the body of a woman. We live through her transition, evolving as an American suburban transsexual. Her best friend, Mrs. Emerald (Lucia Mascino), becomes part of her sexual awakening, as the two fall into each other’s arms and find themselves.
"…if Pee-wee Herman and David Lynch dropped acid together, their shared vision might just be like Sabastiano Mauri’s Fairytale"