Regretfully

I wanted to see Pablo Berger‘s Blancanieves (Cohen Media Group, 3.29), a black-and-white silent version of the Snow White legend, but not enough to actually attend a screening. I’m generally sick of fairy-tale movies as a rule, and I’ve really had it with Snow White so it doesn’t matter if Berger is an A-level director or if his vision of the tale, set in 1920s Spain, is an exception to the rule. I just couldn’t make myself send an rsvp.

Yes, I’m fully aware that this makes me sound like a peon. I’m sure I’d like it if I saw it.

The truth is that The Artist suffocated my interest in sitting through another film of this kind. I realize how small-minded and illogical this sounds, but if I never see another black-and-white silent it’ll be too soon. Yes, I’m aware that Blancanieves currently has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 86 and a Metacritic tally of 80.

But I love the rounded corners on the trailer footage. All films shot in celluloid have rounded corners, but they’re never seen this way. I wonder if the entire film is like this.

“Ironically enough, Berger wrote Blancanieves as a silent film in 2004, unaware that Michel Hazanavicius would be first out of the gate with The Artist,” Annette Insdorf says in a 3.28 review-essay. “The French movie premiered at the Cannes Film Festival one week before Berger began shooting. The Spanish director acknowledged a mixed blessing: The Artist might have stolen his thunder with the element of surprise (Black-and-white?! Silent?!), but it also opened the door to popular success for a drama with neither dialogue nor color.

“If The Artist went on to win the Oscar for Best Film, Blancanieves received 10 Goya Awards (Spain’s equivalent of the Oscars), including Best Picture, and the San Sebastian Film Festival’s Special Jury Prize as well as Best Actress.

“Berger’s Snow White is reminiscent of the female children of Spanish-language masterpieces such as Cria Cuervos, Spirit of the Beehive and Pan’s Labyrinth. The heroines may be vulnerable (partly because fathers are either weak or absent), but these Snow White figures embody a spirit of magical resistance, especially towards cruelty.”

Play this song as you read this review for the full effect.

  • Edward Klein

    I get your disinterest in seeing another fairytale, but if it’s anything close to the brilliance of Cocteau’s, “La belle et la bĂȘte,” I’d be thrilled. The cinematography looks gorgeous. I’m putting it on my must see list.

  • Matthew Lucas

    It’s better than THE ARTIST. It actually evokes the silent era, where THE ARTIST just felt like they were playing silent film dress up.

    Also, it’s not as much of a fairy tale as you’d think. It’s based on Snow White, yes, but it’s set in 1930s Spain. They name her after Snow White, so they acknowledge the existence of the fairy tale in the real world. I think you’d really like it, Jeff. Give it a chance. It’s much better than MIRROR, MIRROR and SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN.

  • JoeS

    Folks seem to have already forgotten the Portugeese film TABU from just a couple of months ago that had the whole second half story told as a black & white silent. Everyone seems to jump from THE ARTIST to BLANCANIEVES and forgetting TABU. That 2nd half of the film is the best thing I’ve seen all year so far….