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Anyone see Pan's Labyrinth?

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Anyone see Pan's Labyrinth?

Old 12-31-06, 05:48 PM
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It's torture waiting for this film to open in my city. Just curious, where in the U.S. is it playing? Other than L.A. or N.Y.?
Old 01-01-07, 12:46 AM
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Just watched this and loved it. I have to admit, I'm crying like a little baby--it reminded me a lot of The Devil's Backbone (still probably my favorite movie of all time, though this was excellent also.)

Spoiler:
The scene were the captain had to sew up his mouth reminded me of my favorite Japanese urban legend (the kuchisake onna--mouth ripped woman).



Old 01-01-07, 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by tasha99
Just watched this and loved it. I have to admit, I'm crying like a little baby--it reminded me a lot of The Devil's Backbone (still probably my favorite movie of all time, though this was excellent also.)

Spoiler:
The scene were the captain had to sew up his mouth reminded me of my favorite Japanese urban legend (the kuchisake onna--mouth ripped woman).



Hold up. This movie is playing in Eugene, OR.....but not Washington D.C. (yet)? W to the T to the F !??
Old 01-01-07, 01:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Daytripper
It's torture waiting for this film to open in my city. Just curious, where in the U.S. is it playing? Other than L.A. or N.Y.?

San Francisco
Old 01-01-07, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by breadlymoore
But where's the thematic connection?
Spoiler:
I don't know if it's necessarily thematic, but Ofelia had to escape. The route she set for the escape wasn't easy and was fraught with consequences (real or imagined-viewer’s choice). Also, the thought that your final thought determines where you spend eternity (will you have a smile on your corpse?) resonates very strongly with me. I felt that the two elements were very closely bound. –Just a thought, Did Vidal not see Pan precisely because he was hopped up on opiates?


I saw this with two friends again, yesterday, who were not (before the movie) fans of del Torro. Watching their reactions to the film was like reading a textbook of how to tell a story in first class. I was having the same reactions. I can’t wait for At The Mountains of Madness. Lovecraft + del Torro = Kudama’s head explodes
Old 01-02-07, 04:49 AM
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Spoiler:


Brian Orndorf says: Where my mind and heart differ on the film is how it all ties together. I understand that del Toro is leaning toward a more interpretative experience by blurring the edges of Ofelia's sanity and thickening the Fascism commentary, I only question why the two stories aren't allowed a distinct meeting point; a place of respectful simplicity that binds the stories in an indisputable way to help better intend the goals of the picture.


I thought the ending was that meeting point where the 2 plotlines crash into each other. A very well done ending.

I think the whole point of the 2 plots was to contrast the harsh brutality of reality with the innocence of fantasy, a contrast of maturity and youth, life and death, and then merge them all together in a swift stroke at the very end with Ofelia's death/entrance into her "heaven". The polar opposites are all blended as one in that moment... Ofelia dies, her newborn brother lives, Ofelia gets cruelly shot to death, she is reborn in an innocent fantasy kingdom.

One of the key quotes of the film was when Ofelia's mother tells her when she grows up she'll learn the difficulties/harshness of the world- that can crush the spirit. It's Ofelia's escapism (her innocence and power to dream) which allows her to transcend beyond that.

It really is a Transcendentalist film, even hinting at Plato's Allegory of the Cave in the beginning fairy tale narration: A girl going out of the dark underworld (her kingdom) into the light and being blinded by it. Ofelia makes the descent back down into the cave (returning to her kingdom) at the movie's end after her "enlightenment"- her lesson learned- self-sacrifice- which allows her to die happily in peace.

I don't think that Ofelia's fantasies have any direct allegory/link to her reality, i.e. the Toad is not some escapism form of Vidal. No, there is only a thematic connection. And that is the power of self-sacrifice (both from the civil war rebels and that of Ofelia).

It's largely open to intreptation- Vidal didn't see Pan because Pan is a figment of Ofelia's imagination.. Thus, why Ofelia's real mom, dad, and brother end up being the royalty of her imaginary kingdom- that all exists in her mind.





Anyhow, I thought it was a brilliant film. My favorite of 2006

Last edited by MASAMUNE2; 01-02-07 at 04:55 AM.
Old 01-02-07, 11:50 AM
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Spoiler:
Did anyone else think all the fantasy stuff was just in her head? That's how I saw it, but I'm pretty sure DelToro left it open to interpertation by the audience - i.e., if you're a hopeful sort of person, the fantasy elements really happened, if you're a cynic, they were all in her head, as a means to cope with her brutal surroundings.
Old 01-02-07, 01:46 PM
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I saw the film last night, and I'm still wrestling with it. I think's Orndorf's review is really good describing the feeling of the film, and I'm somewhat there when he writes about the lack of a "meeting point." I think a lot of reactions here are buttered up with already flaming expectations for the film. If you come to picture cold, I'm positive a good chunk of it will fly over your head.
Old 01-02-07, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Daytripper
It's torture waiting for this film to open in my city. Just curious, where in the U.S. is it playing? Other than L.A. or N.Y.?
and my understanding, Chicago.
Old 01-02-07, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by slop101
Spoiler:
Did anyone else think all the fantasy stuff was just in her head? That's how I saw it, but I'm pretty sure DelToro left it open to interpertation by the audience - i.e., if you're a hopeful sort of person, the fantasy elements really happened, if you're a cynic, they were all in her head, as a means to cope with her brutal surroundings.
Spoiler:
I prefer to think of them as all in her head. Her real world was so cold and cruel that it makes sense that she would retreat to a fantasy world (I'm a princess is almost the cliche child escape dream).

I think in the end, she faced her reality by refusing to blindly obey the fawn.

There were a lot of issues with obedience in the film--her being obedient with the first task, accidentally disobedient with the second, and willfully disobedient with the third. The doctor (was it the doctor? someone. . . ) told the Captain that blind obedience was wrong, so that ties in there.

I did read an interview with del Toro, where he said that for him, the fantasy was real, but only for those who looked closely. I like it that he left it open though, because to me, it's a better story left in the real world.

Edit--took out the paragraph about how I'd wait to see it again till later. I will see it again (I'll admit that even though I'm a woman, "fanboy" is not a far off description for me when it comes to del Toro) but I watched it again this afternoon.



Last edited by tasha99; 01-02-07 at 06:59 PM.
Old 01-02-07, 03:38 PM
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Saw this last night:

Spoiler:
At first I thought it was too much like "The Devil's Backbone" with the sadistic male antagonist and the innocent little kid who seems to have a connection to the supernatural. I thought there were too many scenes that kept showing us what a jackass the military captain was. Him shooting the farmer guy and his son established him as a nasty villain early on in the film that it started to become redundant as scene after scene kept reminding us how evil he was.

I felt the whole subplot of evil military vs. good revolutionaries was pretty conventional movie stuff that didn't offer many surprises. The revolutionaries weren't fleshed out enough other than the fact that were supposed to be the good guys, and I thought the military captain came off as too dumb that it was pretty obvious who was going to triumph in the end.

The little girl eating the grapes to awaken the monster was a bit contrived and you could see it coming a mile away, even though it wasn't set up well enough. The monster was a really imaginative creation and I would have liked to have seen even more of it, but if there was a sleeping monster sitting at a table and pictures on the wall depicting him eating kids, would you stop to chomp on a couple of grapes instead of just getting the hell out of there? Maybe if they had established that she was starving or showed the grapes beckoning to her it would have made more sense.

However, by the end I thought the film had earned its big emotional climax and I was moved by the little girl's sacrifice. I was glad that Del Toro didn't try to sugarcoat the ending and really left it up to the viewer to interpret what exactly had transpired.


Overall I'd say it was a very good movie, though not quite great.

Last edited by Perkinsun Dzees; 01-02-07 at 03:53 PM.
Old 01-02-07, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Kudama
I know this wasn’t directed at me, but…
Spoiler:
Did you notice that the hand Ofelia tricked the toad with was the same one Vidal had just rebuffed as “the wrong hand”? Pan’s outburst to Ofelia at the close contained exactly the same logic as Vidal’s confusion toward the Doctor right before he killed him (“Why won’t you obey me?”). The mandrake mirrored the embryonic threat to Ofelia’s mum. The Pale Man…Jesus Christ! Who knows, but the world at peace scares me enough! And the coda! I’ve long believed that our final thought is what determines where we spend eternity. This fit in with that so nicely. (all IMO)
Spoiler:


I thought Ofelia's tasks and Mercedes tasks matched very nicely and tied the stories into one.

Task 1:
Ofelia--get the key from the toad
Mercedes--use the key to help the Resistance open the storeroom

Task 2:
Ofelia--get the knife from the Pale Man
Mercedes--use the knife to escape the captain

Task 3:
Ofelia--deliver her baby brother to the fawn (which she chooses not to do)
Mercedes--take the baby from the captain

While I prefer the story as imaginary (ie, Ofelia dies at the end), I thought it was really cool how Ofelia tells her brother about a rose that grants immortality, but no one will pick it because of the thorns. Then the movie ends on a flower that is the promise of Ofelia's immortality, but I and many audience members will refuse to "pick it," because we are too grounded in reality.

Also, I loved how Ofelia's first encounter with the fairy bug involves finding the eye to that statue, since so much of this movie depends on blindness (the captain being blind to a woman traitor in his house, the adults being blind to Ofelia's fantasy world, etc.)

Old 01-03-07, 09:50 PM
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Thanks to this thread, I caught a matinee showing yesterday. Fantastic film. I've really enjoyed Del Toro's work and ashamed to say I haven't seen "Devil's Backbone". It went into my rental queue this morning. Can't wait to see what kind of extras we may in store for on the DVD release.
Old 01-04-07, 01:25 AM
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Del Toro was on the treatment today talking about the film. You can hear a podcast of it here

http://www.kcrw.com/etc/programs/tt
Old 01-04-07, 01:39 AM
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You know, this is neither here nor there, but I find it interesting that two of the very best films of the year (Pan's L. and Children of Men) had Mexican directors. Now if Babel had been great, it woulda been a Mexican hat-trick.
Old 01-04-07, 03:37 PM
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Maybe it is just my experience in hearing it the last few years, but there is a large consensus that Mexico is hitting a cinema golden age.
Old 01-04-07, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by slop101
You know, this is neither here nor there, but I find it interesting that two of the very best films of the year (Pan's L. and Children of Men) had Mexican directors. Now if Babel had been great, it woulda been a Mexican hat-trick.
Aye, everything Alfonso Cuaron touches anymore seems to turn to quality (he was a producer on Pan's, director of Children of Men).
Old 01-04-07, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by RichC2
Aye, everything Alfonso Cuaron touches anymore seems to turn to quality (he was a producer on Pan's, director of Children of Men).
I love Cuaron, but you're not attributing the quality of Pan's Labyrinth to him...are you?
Old 01-04-07, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Kudama
I love Cuaron, but you're not attributing the quality of Pan's Labyrinth to him...are you?
Not in the least Just saying, it doesn't hurt.
Old 01-04-07, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by RichC2
Not in the least Just saying, it doesn't hurt.
I thought it was cool when I found out he and del Torro were long time buddies. That made me want to go see Children of Men even more (and I'm very glad I did).
I hope I can get someone to go see Pan's tomorrow. These work friends are people, that when I can actually drag them to the theater, always say, "Holy shit! That was great. You were totally right." Then look at me skeptically, stroking their chins, when I get all excited about a new one.

"Hmmm. So it's a good movie, is it?"
(bouncing off walls)"No! It is GREAT!!!"
(pursing lips, tapping them with index finger)"HHmmmmmm."
Old 01-04-07, 09:50 PM
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Never thought Del Toro was worth a damn as filmmaker. However, when I saw the trailer to this, I knew it wasn't typical Del Toro crap. Personally, I think someone ghost-directed it for him. Because I refuse to believe Guillermo Del Toro is capable of anything even approaching this.

Haven't seen the film yet, but the trailer looks incredible and the critical reception is fantastic.
Old 01-05-07, 09:54 AM
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Terell, havent seen devil's backbone?
Old 01-05-07, 10:00 AM
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Haha I'm assuming Terrell must have really hated Cronos and The Devil's Backbone.

...that or Mimic, Blade II, and Hellboy.. Hmm tough call
Old 01-05-07, 01:26 PM
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Finally caught this in Los Angeles. To tell the truth, I was disappointed. Part of that was clearly due to the marketing.
Spoiler:
I had images of a grand fantasy film in my head, that happened to take place against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War. I did not at all expect a story of the Spanish Civil War that happened to have a few fantasy elements in it. That being said, i think a second viewing might make me appreciate it more, since I now know what to expect. But, aside from the Pale Man sequence, I thought this was Del Toro's second weakest film (first being Mimic). Granted, Del Toro's worst is still better than most filmmakers' best, but I didn't have much emotional connection to the film. It was a technical marvel but it didn't engross me. Even with the symmetries people mentioned, I didn't feel like the two stories connected well, or, in fact, that Ofelia's story had a satisfactory conclusion. Again, with the exception of the Pale Man, her fantasies were cliche to a fault. It's not the worst film I've seen recently (that would be Inland Empire), but it wasn't the best, either.
Old 01-05-07, 02:39 PM
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Yeah, people should go into this knowing that the real-world setting takes up a much larger portion of the movie's run-time than the "fantasy" elements do.

Considering it's a fairly brutal, R-rated film, I'm surprised that they're focusing so much of the marketing on the fantasy elements, especially since it's so disproportionate to the civil war elements in the movie.

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