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February 12, 2007

Back to the Movies

So now I have rounded out my moviegoing experience by seeing Pan's Labyrinth, the third of the recent trio of films by Mexican directors (the first two being Babel and Children of Men). I saw it with Elizabeth, Elizabeth, and Elizabeth's husband Henry. Three others were supposed to join us but stayed home in order to keep warm, finish reading for a seminar, and build a compost pen. All I have to say is that they missed out.

Pan's Labyrinth was fantastic, and I loved every minute of it despite the fact that I'm usually not into fantasy and I hate talking animals. What I loved about Pan's Labyrinth was that the fantasy was a perfect complement to the reality of the Spanish Civil War, the movie's historical setting. As Spain was going to hell (to the Fascists) all around her, Ofelia escaped into a world of peace and harmony, where she was a princess, along with her mother, father, and baby brother, innocents caught up in the conflagration. Henry remarked that all of the characters were totally believable, and I had to agree. Even El Capitan, the evil captain of Franco's army, was believably evil. He made a bone-chilling speech about wanting his son to grow up in a "clean Spain," in which the Republicans, with their "mistaken idea that we are all equal" had been defeated, which gave me insight into the thinking of our current Republican (but the other kind) administration. He was played by Sergi Lopez, who was also the bad guy in Dirty Pretty Things, and who does evil remarkably well. Pan's Labyrinth was fantastic, though also quite depressing, as we all know that the bad guys do eventually win. That is the problem with historical films: we know the end before we even go in.

It's now playing at the State Theater which tends to keep movies forever, so if you haven't seen it yet, there should be plenty of opportunities.

Posted by eklanche at February 12, 2007 07:37 AM


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