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By Steve Anderson | May 11, 2006

“The Green Faerie” brings the silent movie back in a very small way. There’s not a WORD of spoken dialogue anywhere, and the plot is advanced via old-timey text placards with writing such as:

“Mr. Harold spends another day seeking love between the pages of his book, oblivious to the advances of his adoring maid, Gwenyth.”

And what follows that little placard is going to be the biggest literary cram session you’ve ever seen. Though we start out in Mr. Harold’s house, you’re going to see about a minute based on “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, then another minute based on “Arabian Nights” will follow—and I’ll tell you this: Jaime Michaels looks DAMN hot in harem girl garb and can do at least a semi-authentic belly dance. On top of it, we segue into “Pierrot” for another minute, and then a minute back in Mr. Howard’s house.

It’s like The Short Attention Span Theatre approached Kelly Farrell and said, “We want you to make a movie about every single book in the library. And it needs to be five minutes long.” To which Ferrell replied, “Well, pick three, and then we can do it.” Reluctantly, the Theatre agreed, and “The Green Faerie” was born.

Even better is the ending. Absinthe is involved. For those of you who don’t follow; on its way out in the era of silent film, absinthe was the only drink that required assembly to drink properly, involving tools like slotted spoons and drinking glasses that more resembled particularly fancy graduated cylinders. Those of you familiar with absinthe will be laughing their collective a*s off on this one—to bring the rest of you up to speed, the title’s an inside joke. Absinthe was often called “The Green Fairy.”

Which is the particularly sad part about “The Green Faerie”. There are too many things that require research. It pulled “Pierrot” from out of nowhere—he’s a classic stock figure in French pantomime. It uses absinthe as an in-joke. Which means they’re limiting their audience like no tomorrow, making it largely inaccessible to all but the bravest souls.

All in all, “The Green Faerie” takes a lot of legwork to get the most out of, and in all honesty, the destination isn’t worth the huge journey it takes to get there.

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