Sunday, March 10, 2013

"Sonne" and Snow White

The two versions of the Snow White story, but more dominantly the Grimms’ version, parallel quite a lot with the Rammstein “Sonne” video.  We see the obvious representation of the seven dwarves as seven small, dirty miners; we see the presence of the apple, Snow White as a maternal figure.  The presence of the apple, however, probably represents Snow White’s addiction to drugs (snorting glitter, using needles), as both are seen as poison.  Snow White, as a maternal figure, rather than caring for the dwarves and mothering them, she disciplines them when she is spanking their bare rear ends.  This is a suggestion of eroticism, and further identifies her as a sex symbol, even beyond when she sensually adjusts her garters and pouts her full lips.  To further this, the video incorporates the famous glass coffin, which puts the female on display, to be admired for her youth and beauty, preserving it, which is a cultural theme both during the Grimms’ time, the time of the “Young Slave” story, and our own time.

Snow White adjusts her garters, suggesting her as a sex symbol.

In the Grimms’ tale, the dwarves appear to be calm and protective of their adopted Snow White, suggesting a give and take relationship from her.  However, in the music video, they cower in fear from her, offer her their hard day’s labor (the gold piece) and she throws him back, admiring the piece thanklessly.  Snow White’s character, too is very different.  The Grimms portray her as young, sweet, innocent and naïve, but here, she takes, absorbs, gets what she wants like the evil stepmothers featured in both the Grimm version and the “Young Slave” story.  She embodies both characters, with the innocent and beautiful Snow White as the exterior, even though there is a drug-addicted and greedily expectant monster inside.  They work hard, brush her hair, polish her apples, and she appears to do nothing in return for them.  They worship her although she has nothing to offer them.

Disney's and the Grimms' Snow White would not behave so rashly.
The lighting here, too, suggests her position as "the Sun" for the dwarves.

“Sonne” suggests that Snow White is the sun, but not in the way that she brightens the dwarves’ world.  Instead, they revolve around her, absorbing and worshipping her cold, unforgiving light, when she offers them nothing but grief in return.

I enjoy, but maybe not prefer the modern-ish adaptation of the tale.  I think it is an interesting spin, but I can't really compare the two as artifacts.  They are equal representations of the "Snow White" story in their own way, both of which I respect and like.

wc: 410

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