LEGEND (1985) Directed by Ridley Scott Starring: Tom Cruise Mia Sara Tim Curry

Fig.1. Box Art

Legend is heavily theatrical with a plotline bearing strong resemblance to that of a dark fairytale. The story starts with the romance of princess Lili who is played by Mia Sara and Jack who is played by Tom Cruise, Lili of course is royalty and Jack is a peasant. Jack takes her to see the Unicorns, Lili is taken in by their innocent allure, not knowing that Darkness, played fruitfully by Tim Curry is utilising her to stage a brutal trap to kill the Unicorns which are symbolised as the height of goodness and sending the world into an ice-age, referring to the phrase that winter is the season of death. Jack ventures out to save the world, rescue Lili and the last remaining Unicorn and eradicate Darkness from the land to restore peace and harmony. To visually attach the set to the storyline, Ridley utilises a theatrical style to convey the contrast between light and dark within the ethos of the story, keeping the whimsical aspect clearly distinguishable between the beauty of the forest and the almost necropolis feel to the lair of Darkness, furthermore resembling our common perception of hell.
Fig.2. Jack in the forest

‘This film is really beautiful, a truely[sic] dark fairytale.’ Phil Hubbard exclaims in his review (Hubbard: 2007). Within the forest setting, the use of lighting provides the element of serenity, beauty and the calm attitude we bestow on nature, furthering that with the trickling of small streams and the vibrancy of autumn leafage and a classic cerulean blue sky with fluffy clouds. You find Jack’s tattered rags (Bearing Tarzan in mind) creates that rough yet useful visual link between him and the forest

in a seemingly transitional manner, this technique is also laid into practice with Darkness himself and his lair, though the overall theme does seem to be very cliché to our typically view of Satan in his domain. Surging red tints from the flames and coarse and textured architecture are the predominant features here. It’s almost as if you’re standing within the confines of a man-made cave or a weathered dungeon, pretty much forming to our idealistic view of hell as such. With all these clichés weaned into the plot and visual spectrum, there is a natural tendency to lurch back to the entirety of the film and Fig.3. Darkness in his lair really see it within a very theatrical light, reanalysing its view as a very fantastical film. A review from James O’Ehely relates ‘Legend is
essentially a movie for children. After all, it features a lot of children with fairy wings stuck to their backs. (Often it feels as if one is stuck in a primary school pantomime!)’ (O’Ehely, J:1997>). The overall fantastically feel that the dense set design is really nice eye-candy and a well made landmark for fantastical designs in all walks of industry till this day, a more contemporised example of which in evolves as similar yet more original plot is a multiplatform game of 2010, Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom... Even the name brings fantasy ringing in your ears.

Upon view this image, the vibrancy and fullness of the world being visually depicted
Fig.4. Concept art from Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom

is bursting through to meet you ‘Majin is a surprisingly beautiful game. A lot of this comes down to the remarkable design of its areas; glacial caverns glitter and sparkle... Windswept cliffs and broken bridges lead to abandoned power plants and broken down military bases.’ As described by Aston Raze from The Telegraph (Raze, A: 2010). This game has it’s light and dark contrasting within story and visuals as does Legend, a good example to how the film’s stylistic homage to classic fairytales has helped influenced production design within popular culture.

Legend (1985)
List of Illustrations; -Fig.1. Box art (1985) At: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089469/ Accessed (09/11/11) -Fig.2. Jack in the woods- (1985) From Legend Directed by Ripley Scott [Film still] America: Universal Studios -Fig.3. Darkness in his lair- (1985) From Legend Directed by Ripley Scott [Film Still] America: Universal Studios -Fig.4. Concept art for Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom (2010) [Digital Painting] At: http://playstationlifestyle.net/2010/10/21/majin-and-the-forsaken-kingdom-gets-first-behind-thegame-trailer/ Accessed (09/11/11)

Bibliography; -Hubbard,P (2007) Rotten Tomatoes At: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1012164-legend/ Accessed (09/11/11) -O’Ehely, J (1997>) Scifimoviespage At: http://www.scifimoviepage.com/legend.html Accessed (09/11/11) -Raze, A (2010) The Telegraph At: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/videogames/8167783/Majin-and-the-Forsaken-Kingdom-review.html Accessed (09/11/11)