Monday, January 22, 2007

Yesterday while the vast majority of Americans were watching America's favorite past time, football, I went to see the film Pan's Labyrinth. Pan' Labyrinth is an intriguing story which operates on multiple levels which include history, religion, ethics, and psychology. Over the years I have seen my fair share of fantasy flicks but Pan's Labyrinth is as unique as they come, for a variety of different of reasons. On one level, the film doesn't really seem like a fantasy film because the historical aspect of the film is so intertwined with the fantasy, to the point, where one feels like one is watching two separate films. On another level, this is not you're typical enchanting fantasy film, ala, Chronicles of Narnia, Legend, Harry Potter, etc. Pan's Labyrinth is truly unique in that it mixes historical drama, with fantasy and horror and I really can't think of any comparisons. It's kind of like a hybrid between Schindler's List and A Never Ending Story...which....will probably create a bit of cognitive dissonance for the average American movie goer who is used to Hollywood formulas and predictability. The film also earns it's R rating and should not be seen by anyone sensitive to violence and out and out brutality....Overall, I really liked this film, not because I found it particularly entertaining or charming, because it is neither but I did appreciate the complexity,religious symbolism, and the strong moral undertones, which I think are relevant to our times and our lives....

2 comments:

Dave said...

Guillermo Del Toro was on the "Fresh Air" program on NPR at lunch time today. Apparently he had kind of a tormented Catholic childhood - his grandmother would put bottle caps with the pointy side up in his shoes in order to "mortify his flesh" and she filled his mind with lurid warnings of hellfire and purgatory. He sees fantasy and horror films as the coping tool he needed to survive that early experience. If you can find the broadcast on line, I recommend you check it out. It offered some fascinating insights on his approach to filmmaking and really enhanced my interest in seeing this movie.

Bilbo said...

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the tip. I listened to the entire program and I found Del Toro very interesting. His insights into the relationship between fantasy, horror, and fairy tales were both interesting and very profound. He also had alot of interesting things to say about religion, history, politics and the essence of filmaking, human nature,death, and our perspective of reality. I found him to be very, very, impressive. I hope you get a chance to see Pan's Labyrinth and would be interested in hearing your comments. I hope to see his films Devil's Backbone and Cronos in the next couple of weeks....Del Toro is someone to keep an eye of in the future....