Easy Rider is not just a significant American movie. It is also an exceptional example of independent filmmaking, one where, with the unwavering ambition of youth and a desire for something different, a film rises above and beyond the studio-beholden establishment to achieve a triumph all its own.
While Grimm is rooted in fairy tales, this week’s episode is the first to seemingly take direct inspiration from a modern classic, The Little Mermaid. Usually the show takes a particular myth or folk tale as a jumping off point before going in a new direction, but “One Night Stand” is a break from this, providing direct parallels to several of the beloved film’s key elements. Elly, our main Nyad protagonist, loves Jake from afar and saves him from drowning, pulling him onto the land and resuscitating him. She stares lovingly at him as he blearily opens his eyes, not sure what he’s seeing, and then jumps back into the water once he’s awake. Jake then spends much of the episode trying to understand what happened to him and find this woman who, being deaf, cannot speak to him. The antagonists as well as many of the specifics may differ, but there are too many similarities for this to be intended as anything other than Grimm does The Little Mermaid, a format Once Upon a Time has built much of its show around.
Film noir comes full circle in Roman Polanski’s Chinatown (1974). Thirty years before its release, crime dramas saw the birth of a fundamental character – the noir hero. From Dashiell Hammett to Raymond Chandler, The Maltese Falcon (1941) to The Big Sleep (1946), the noir hero inhabits a world of hopelessness and dark tragedy. The Maltese Falcon saw Humphrey Bogart’s inaugural portrayal of this amoral anti-hero and began film noir as we know it.