Tia Dalma is featured in the second and third installments of the series, and she is shrouded in magic and mystery. She lives in the remote interior of a creepy swamp, her home a sinister tree house with a massive snake loitering in a branch at its doorway. Our initial encounter with her is occasioned by Sparrow’s terrifying but urgent trek to see her and solicit her help with getting information about a certain key. As Sparrow anticipates, Tia Dalma is able to explain the origins and purpose of the key.
Sparrow leaves Tia Dalma satisfied with the outcome of his visit. However, by the close of the movie Sparrow has a new set of troubles: he and his ship have been dragged into the sea by the Kraken, Davy Jones’ sea monster. Dead Man’s Chest closes with Sparrow’s crew and comrades returning to Tia Dalma for refuge. She consoles them and promises to lead them on a journey to rescue Jack from the underworld. At World’s End begins with that rescue mission. Tia Dalma has joined Jack’s crew and repeatedly uses her intuitive powers to help guide the crew to Jack. Before the film is over we come to understand that Tia Dalma is in fact the sea goddess Calypso, bound in human form, a lynchpin in the film’s plot, and the cause for Davy Jones’ monstrous embodiment. [Read more →]
June 10, 2011 2 Comments
Below is an excerpt from my paper that I will present tomorrow morning at the Caribbean Studies Association Conference in Curacao.
My paper today is concerned with Hollywood’s representation of the Caribbean in film, specifically films that feature a supernatural or fantastical element. These films include early efforts to render a haunted Caribbean such as White Zombie and I Walked with a Zombie, to more recent productions like The Serpent and the Rainbow and the Pirates of the Caribbean series. In a region where literature, music and its own film production have been significantly influenced by Hollywood, where the eyes of the Caribbean voraciously consume an infinite number of moving images created outside of the region, how do the creators of these images that have in some ways transfixed the region’s gaze, gaze back at us? This paper is part of a larger project that contemplates representations of the supernatural Caribbean and more precisely part of a book chapter that explores Hollywood’s representation of the Caribbean in films that feature a supernatural or fantastical element. While the completed chapter will probe a range of films, including crime thrillers, like 007 Live and Let Die and Marked for Death, both profusely garnished with Obeah and witchcraft, my paper today focuses on Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean series. [Read more →]
June 1, 2011 4 Comments