Pan’s Labyrinth: A Disobedient Fairy Tale

Pan’s Labyrinth: A Disobedient Fairy Tale

It’s okay to start with a spoiler the first shot we see her die. A few things about fairy tales as our source is Walt Disney while they are faithful to original books as Disney was smart, they kept their original storied tropes, Guillermo del Toro changes that notion as he makes us a fairy tale that truly is a true fairy tale in my eyes. No other film can lay claim to the mythological frisson of this famous quatrain as it’s a fairy tale that disobeys the rules of Disney fairy-tales. It’s Disobedience of fairy-tale notions as truly breaking the rules. Fairy tales are often stripped of their darkest and most threatening elements, or transformed into complex morality tales to mirror current values, the victim of an overprotective industry of children’s literature. This is not a new development. To make fairy tales more suitable for young audiences, editors in Victorian England altered the tales, omitting events or elements they deemed too harsh as old fairy-tales as they altered many of the classic grim tales. It’s where Pan’s Labyrinth takes you back to what made fairy-tales dark in the first place as his fairy-tale feels like how the original fairy-tales were darker tales. Pan’s Labyrinth remains a land-mark as today I talk about it for The Great Villain Blogathon. I thank the host of this wonderful event as i ask you check out others form this event. so lets begin the tale now.

Pan’s Labyrinth: A Disobedient Fairy Tale

Pan’s Labyrinth is a true fairy tales as it’s darker than most fairy-tales we grew up watching on the screen. Franco’s Spain was a perfect setting for a fairy-tale. The Spanish civil war is a dark time for the nation of Spain. Vidal’s monstrosity of Captain Vidal abhorrent cruelty in the war really shows you the darkest of villains that reminds of the big bad wolf or the wicked queens of fairy-tales.  The two monsters of Pan’s Labyrinth, the Monstrous Toad and the Pale Man as they mirror the evils of many people in the real world of Franco’s Spain as you can see the grim and darkness of them both. The sad part that the Francoist dictatorship was the cruelest of times for the nation of Spain that they want to forget now as it’s a dark chapter of their storied history. It’s where I think the mirror of a fairy-tale is perfect setting for this dark time of history.

It is set in Spain, 1944. The Civil War is over, although resistance to the fascists continues. The heavily pregnant Carmen (Ariadna Gil) is travelling to meet her new husband, the Falangist Captain Vidal (an excellent performance by Sergi Lopez). With her is Ofelia (Ivana Baquero), her daughter by her first marriage. Ofelia travels with armfuls of books of fairy tales. Doctors think Carmen should not travel, but Vidal insists a son should be born where his father is located at the time.

If Captain Vidal is the “monster” of the real world, then the fantastical “Pale Man” is Vidal’s inner grotesque monster come to life. We are introduced to the Pale Man during Ofelia’s second task in the faun’s labyrinth as we meet him at dinner scene. It mirrors the scene of Captain Vidal as both are dark mirrors of each other as pale-man is the villainous monster that springs out of nightmares but is a mirror of the evil Captain Vidal.

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Captain Vidal, Ofelia’s step-father is the film’s literal, real-life representative of fascist ideology as he serves as true mirror to Franco himself. Vidal is a man obsessed with rules and regiment: handshake etiquette, the cleanliness of his boots, and keeping time with his stopwatch. Vidal’s obsessions allude to Franco’s own authoritarianism and the totalitarian nature of his regime as the evils of the Franco regime is really noted in this movie. Captain Vidal becomes a foil and antagonistic villain for the innocent Ofelia as she is a sweet girl that escapes from reality into the world of Pan’s Labyrinth. Much like the Franco regime, Captain Vidal controls those around him through fear and violence rather than compassion.  He is a rotten bastard that doesn’t care about others at all with any compassion or care. At the real-world dinner party, Vidal ruthlessly cuts off the nonsensical chatter that surrounds the dinner table.

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The pale-man is Vidal’s inner grotesque monster as we see the dinner scene as Ofelia first encounters the Pale Man, he is positioned at the head of a large dining table that is covered with food as same as Vidal as his need for order and control Ofelia eats two grapes off of the table, the Pale Man viciously bites off the heads of two fairies as he shows that is the ruler with no one having freedom above him. If Captain Vidal and the Pale Man come to represent fascist rule, then Ofelia serves as a stand-in for the Spanish nation and those who suffered at the hands of the Franco regime as we see the ruthless nature of Captain Vidal as he kills the rebels in such ruthless manner it really shows his evil nature as Sergi Lopez proves he is one hell of a villain as he  gives one of most amazing performances all time in this movie. Doug Jones plays the fawn as he got into the outfit often as truly this monster is amazing monster and creation for this movie. He gives out an amazing performance. The most amazing part of the movie is the  amazing fairy-tale creatures that all come to life with mirroring scenes to many classics such as wizard of oz and the red shoes with scenes that mirror many classic fairy-tales. The ogre you meet in the movie is truly one of most scary monsters of its type as you are not meeting the friendly ogre but the real one form grim’s tales.

Ofelia is a fantastic protagonist. She is a girl you automatically want to protect from the horrors around her and that investment is where this film garners its strength from real and imagined evils of this movie. The heavy symbolism of this movie that notes down many grim classic fairy-tales with shades of Alice in wonderland and the red shoes scene at end. The faun seems to be both good and evil; what are we to make of a huge pile of used shoes, especially worrisome in the time of the Holocaust? The film is visually stunning. The creatures do not look like movie creations but like nightmares (especially the Pale Man, with eyes in the palms of his hands). The baroque organic look of the faun’s lair is unlike any place I have seen in the movies when the giant frog delivers up a crucial key in its stomach as something so moving and timeless about the creature-work of this movie. He invents from scratch, or adapts into his own vision a fairy-tale that is forever timeless.  Del Toro says in a commentary that Ofelia is “a girl who needs to disobey anything except her own soul.” The whole movie, he says, is about choices. The powerful acting of everyone is another amazing highlight of this movie with amazing visuals and story-telling it’s something that is forever remembered upon for all time.

…setting up an alternative, magical reality repeatedly juxtaposed with the real world.

Guillermo Del Toro released what is arguably his masterpiece in 2006 as he described by the director as the most personal movie I’ve made”, it’s a wondrous merging of history – war-torn Spain, 1944  and fantasy as he weaved an adult fairytale of a young girl’s coming-of-age amid fascism, full of horror and hope, loaded with allusion and allegory. Here are just some of the numerous techniques and strategies Del Toro employs to make Pan’s Labyrinth such an unusually rich feast of visual storytelling that I feel truly is one of finest movies ever crafted for the screen.

mighty joe young

 

mighty Joe young

Mighty Joe Young”(1949) has always been a favorite of mine ever since I saw it for the first time saw it. I am a huge fan of the works of Willis Obrien and Ray Harryhaussen worked together on this movie as this classic movie i talk about in my review today as simply another classic i adore to watch often upon the screen.

mighty joe young review

Mighty Joe Young is the story of a girl and her gorilla and a friendship that would survive despite the hardships they would endure. Those times would see them leaving their jungle home courtesy of a huckster who wants them to play at his latest club in Los Angeles and while it would seem glamorous at first, it was anything but. Though trial and tribulation, Joe and Jill would overcome with a little help and give themselves and the viewer that essential happy ending.(plot)

Mighty Joe Young is his is Ray Harryhausen’s first official credit and it’s a beautiful showcase of the influence that would flourish for decades as we see what begins his magical power of crafting stop motion works upon the screen.

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Mighty Joe Young is a more light-hearted family friendly take on the King Kong type story as that doesnt ruin its charm to any effect. MIGHTY JOE YOUNG was originally released to mixed reviews and the box office numbers were so disappointing for the studio that a planned sequel was nixed. That’s really too bad but even today this film seems to get either overlooked or bashed because people go into it expecting another KING KONG but they got something even more special in my eyes as its far better in many regards form its very amazing as the special effects are basically jaw-dropping to watch upon the screen.

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While Willis O’Brien, who did the animation for King Kong, was officially the supervisor of the special effects, his assistant Ray Harryhausen actually created most of them. Harryhausen went on to become one of the most influential special effects animators of all time. Mighty Joe Young is considered his first major film with such charming animation you see it come to to life upon the screen in such animation stop motion animation on the screen. mighty2

Terry Moore and Ben Johnson and Robert Armstrong all are such wonderful treats to watch play out their marvelous performances on the screen. I would say Terry Moore  as Jill really steals the show as she leads us to really adore mighty joe young. Ben Johnson plays who a rodeo cowboy in a sense is truly who she falls in love as she grows to like him truly as he helps her save mighty joe young. Its their remarkable performances that really make the movie come to life upon the screen.

I would say of my favorite movie moments is the scene of Beautiful Dreamer is one of my favorite movie scenes all time as this scene shows off the animation of ray as its truly magical to see Terry Moore held by mighty Joe young as each animation frame here you see the animation of his face and his expressions it’s just a joy to see the scene. It’s a wonderful wonder this scene.

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The special effects and stop-motion work by O’Brien and Harryhausen are marvelous, and took fourteen months to complete. Joe actually seems real, so subtle are his movements and expressions and, when he snatches a moving child off a burning ledge with a swing of the arm, you’ll be wondering how it was done as simply one of my favorite scenes is beautiful dreamer as you see him holding her in night club as she plays the piano its such a marvelous scene upon the screen. One famous scene has Joe winning a tug-of-war contest with several legendary musclemen, including Man Mountain Dean, Primo Carnera and the original Swedish Angel Phil Olafsson. Familiar faces to keep an eye out for include Regis Toomey, Ellen Corby, Richard Farnsworth, Dwayne Hickman, Irene Ryan and William Schallert as this scene showcases such a marvelous lead forward form king kong as you see joe is truly alive in such ways.

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Mighty Joe Young has many scenes of complex stop-motion work not least the exciting burning orphanage sequence. It won for O’Brien a well-deserved Oscar, the award he should have been given for King Kong as sadly it wasn’t box office hit as the follow up idea was we would meet Tarzan (Lex Barker), but was shelved due to disappointing box-office returns barely covering its million-dollar budget. With warmth, humor and future effects superstar Harryhausen as assets, Mighty Joe Young surprised its producers by bombing at the box-office which is somewhat inexplicable especially since King Kong would earn its greatest profits when re-released four years later in 1953 but repeated viewing as such as TV and many forms as re-viewings have made this movie a legendary classic with wonderful acting and direction and a wonderful special effects works make it a must see classic movie.

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This is Ray Harryhausen if reading this I am sure he was your hero too. He made the monsters the star which is the coolest thing in the world. Ray Harryhausen is A childhood hero of mine. I can say that i have been obsessed with his work since I was a boy. His monsters had more personality then me as a boy but it was truly magical when I first saw his movies i was in awe and wonder. it showed me that one man can make such wonders. I knew these monsters were not real but they touched my heart. it is still so true to my heart because I seen them when i was a boy and not know how they were done. I remember many as boy saying they were not real but i didn’t care. I seen many things that passed in such effects but I never could get over how amazing this guys truly stands out. Ray Harryhausen truly is the greatest artist of special effects. One of the my true heroes to my heart as today i talked his frist creation but noting tops his works to my eyes. I always adore them as to pay tribute to this legend.

The Curse of the Cat People A HAUNTING FABLE FOR CHRISTMAS

The Curse of the Cat People- A HAUNTING FABLE FOR CHRISTMAS

Today I talk about  The Curse of the Cat People. In the early 1940’s rko was suffering a big failure following citizen Kane and other movies leaving the studio in ruins. it turned to its low budget b pictures . Val Lewton was the man put in charge of producing these flims with titles given to him by the studio so came up with movies ideas as he found ways to make these movies into horror classics as he started with Cat People as today I review The Curse of the Cat People which is a perfect holiday horror classic which i review today. The Curse of the Cat People review 

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The Curse of the Cat People remains among the strangest Hollywood sequels ever made. Following Cat People, RKO’s 1942 horror masterwork of shadow and atmosphere that also helped delay the studio’s financial ruin, the sequel resolves to occupy another genre entirely. I would call it one of my favorite movies all time as its story is quite lovely. Director Robert Wise, winner of Oscars for the musicals West Side Story and The Sound of Music among several other classic films directs this classic gem that is so strange and different form other horror classics.

The Curse of the Cat People certainly is full of terror and Lewton’s signature dark, foreboding atmosphere and noirish cinematography. Instead, the film evokes the dark fairy tales of Guillermo Del Toro and the deep understanding of childhood fears as it feels like a fairy-tale.  

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The film is set in Tarrytown, also known as Sleepy Hollow, and while it was shot in California, the realistic sets, cinematography, and atmosphere perfectly evoke the dreamy, haunted mood of small-town upstate New York. The authentic feel of the film is no doubt due to the fact that Lewton based much of the details of Amy’s world on his own childhood, growing up near Tarrytown. Like Amy, he was fascinated and terrified of the legend of the Headless Horseman. The classic folktale of Sleepy Hollow is discovered by Amy during the film.

Ann Carter is astounding in the role of Amy, taking another otherworldly turn after playing Veronica Lake’s enchantress daughter in I Married a Witch as she gives out such a wonderful performance in her role. Simone Simon who literally plays the role of a good fairy/fairy princess as Irena She’s an angelic presence that, again, could be perceived as evil because she is so ethereal. It also has wonderful acting by its entire cast.

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By the nature of the movie’s story you are really in a fairy-tale that feels dreamlike and echoes many other childhood fairy-tale classics with its even Gothic touches that feel right out of a fairy-tale. I used adore to read old fairy-tales as a boy as had book collecting them this movie really captures that feeling of those classic tales form grim tales to the legends of folk tales that evoke such a dreamlike fairy-tale feeling. 
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The film tracks a period of time from late autumn through Christmas and ends on a snowy Twelfth Night. Each sequence is steeped in rich seasonal atmosphere, and the hauntingly beautiful Christmas sequences make The Curse of the Cat People a perfect pick for any spooky flavored holiday season. In one of the film’s most famous scenes, Amy’s family has invited carolers into their home on Christmas Eve. While the merry group gathers around the piano to sing “Shepherds Shake off Your Drowsy Sleep,” Amy remains separated from the group. She hears another soft, distant singing. Gazing out the window, she sees Irena standing in the snowy garden, under a tree frosted with ice. She is singing a different carol — “Il Est Né, Le Divin Enfant” — just for Amy. It’s one of the most gorgeous, magical scenes ever put to film.

The Curse of the Cat People is rather a fairy tale in a way it’s very much a movie that feels more dreamlike like the classic fairy-tale classics form The magical tone of the movie is reminiscent of Rene Clair or similar fantastic directors of the era that feels so much more fun to watch unfold on the screen as it captures the childhood feel so great. The Curse of the Cat People is hardly a horror story at all as its more a Gothic fairy-tale which really makes it one of a kind for movies of its time. This is a lovely, haunting film that you will simply enjoy to watch anytime.

7 FACES OF DR. LAO

 7 FACES OF DR. LAO (1964) review

In the late 19th century, a mysterious Chinese man and circus owner, Dr. Lao (Tony Randall, Pillow Talk), arrives in a small Arizona town and proceeds to teach townies a few important life lessons.

7 Faces of Dr. Lao is a marvelous tale of magical realism. It is an amazing tale of classic story-telling that is a wondrous pastiche of western motifs, comedy, and fantasy movie with simply a wonderful outlook on what makes you feel human. The film also works as a fairy tale for adults and children alike that can teach you many wonderful lessons on life.

7 Faces of Dr. Lao is a marvelous performance for  Tony Randall who plays eight roles seven plus a cameo by him. He is just marvelous. Randall’s Lao is a particularly cunning characterization that is simply one amazing role that you will adore to watch him play form start to finish. Randall’s great performance couldn’t have been accomplished without the then state-of-the-art make-up effects created by William Tuttle that creates some of the best make-up effects in any movie. He received an honorary Oscar for his groundbreaking work (the first Oscar ever to a make-up artist). The special effects, which consist mostly of stop-motion model animation that is simply marvelous stop-motion animation that may be some of best ever done for flim which may remind you of the work of Ray Harryhausen (20 Million Miles to EarthThe 7th Voyage of Sinbad, etc) which is tons of fun to watch on-screen anytime.

Randall’s performance and Tuttle’s make-up work is reason enough to watch this classic gem of a movie that is a fairy tale.  The rest of cast is pretty great too. Barbara Eden (TV’s I Dream of Jeannie) plays Angela Benedict, the Widowed Librarian, and John Ericson (Bad Day at Black Rock) is Ed Cunningham, the Crusading Publisher. Arthur O’Connell (Pocketful of Miracles), Noah Beery Jr. (TV’s The Rockford Files), John Qualen (A Patch of Blue), and Lee Patrick (Now, Voyager) also appear in key supporting roles as all of their performances are simply marvelous performances for each of them.

I have seen this weird western fantasy many times and I have always enjoyed it. It won a special Oscar for makeup, but it could have also been honored for its production design and costumes. It has the feeling of a children’s film, yet there’s a lot of stuff that’s not really intended for kids as simply this movie is for anyone young at heart. 7 faces of dr lao is simply a marvelous movie with marvelous effects and a wonderful cast that you should simply see anytime as this marvelous movie form start to finish. The film doesn’t necessarily push the envelope of fantasy, but its satirical tone and irreverent attitude have an ageless quality. All in all, it’s a helluva fun ride form that you wont reget watching at all.

King Kong

Today I talk about king Kong, Escape is the most crucial function of Hollywood cinema. An audience supplied with hearty diversion forgets their daily troubles and returns for more, in turn supporting the entire industry; the relationship is one of mutual symbiosis of movies that was pure escapism started in the 1930’s as its the era that began the trend we see today of movies being escape from their troubles as at time of it was the great depression. I am happy to talk about one of my favorite movies all time which is King Kong.

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Cooper and Schoedsack sought to combine the awe of discovery with full-fledged drama, and then elevate their concept with irresistible Hollywood spectacle. Few forerunners to their eventual film King Kong exist, which further underlines their pioneering of filmic adventures. King Kong was the filmmaker’s challenge is to unite universal entertainment value with artistic vision, engaging both the audience’s emotions and intellect to make Hollywood spectacle that was unlike anything done before on the big screen before it

Cooper and Schoedsack’s King Kong was born. Conceived by Cooper and Edgar Wallace, and written by James Creelman and Ruth Rose, their yarn was about the very nature of escapism that was something diffrent form many movies of its age as its roots was to give viewers something they never seen before in a movie. It would take viewers to  an impossible world filled with wondrous things. In the end, their film would return to familiar territory, unleashing the unknown onto the everyday, smashing the illusion of escapism and confronting the audience head-on with this new idea of movies being an escape.

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Designing the Kong puppet was Marcel Delgado but it required more than than simple puppetry by way of stop-motion animation to create King Kong.  Employing every trick in the book to assemble a believable environment form back projection, matte and glass paintings, miniatures, and models, each disappearing into one another to create an incomparable magic show where the impossible lives and breathes. Pieced together with a metal skeleton frame, foam, and animal fur, the Kong puppet was made into an unlikely source of audience sympathy through O’Brien’s animation that was such a slow process like many works of this stop motion to bring to life king Kong‘s world.

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Modern day viewers might balk at the stop-motion effects having seen more convincing, photorealistic, computer-generated sensations in Jackson’s remake. From the perspective of today’s cinema but if you look upon the marvel of this work you would see how magical it is simply watch this movie upon the screen.I would say its acting is very good for everyone in its cast.Kong was one of the first movie monsters to receive credit as a main character. For the time, this speaks to the marvel of the film’s effects working in harmony with the power of the narrative, as the filmmakers relied on pure invention to render Skull Island, Kong, and the beast’s distinct personality onscreen.

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King Kong’s love for Ann Darrow fully described, his death painfully sad. There are moments where Kong’s behavior is best defined as idiosyncratic but strikingly true, such as when he verifies his Tyrannosaurus Rex kill by flapping its lifeless jaw, or when he smells his fingers after touching Ann. These moments grow throughout the film until the creature is no longer just a beast, but the story’s protagonist, elevating the B-grade monster movie into a moving tragedy when Kong falls to his death.

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Depression-era moviegoers found King Kong delivered them from their poverty and financial distress into the hands of a beast, but it was important to return them to the safety of the world when the adventure was over. ing Kong provides the underlying ambition of all Hollywood cinema. The film brings the movies to a colossal idea to the big screen which changed the face of Hollywood forever as the creators led the bold way to other flim-makers make groundbreaking changes that led to today’s Hollywood box office movie.

Portrait of jenny

Portrait of jenny(https://www.facebook.com/Wolffianclassicmoviesdigest)

So today I talk about Portrait of jenny which was a beguiling fantasy that was a David O. Selznick production that truly shines in every way as its a poetic and lyrical tale that may be one of the screen’s finest gems ever put to the screen as this ethereal, inspiring fantasy-romance in the vein of The Ghost and Mrs Muir, Somewhere in Time and The Time Traveller’s Wife really is one of those tales you can watch anytime. I will tell you why in my review.

Portrait of jenny review

Robert Nathan’s book truly is one marvelous book that this lyrical the flim captures it perfectly. on the screen. Portrait Of Jennie is a romance/drama/fantasy was produced by David Selznick, who produced most of Jennifer Jones film whom was her husband as he is best remembered for producing gone with wind.  It’s the middle of the Depression, 1934, and struggling artist Joseph Cotten can’t seem to find his muse but he finds one day inspiration by meeting an enchanting girl while in Central Park. He resolves right then and there to paint a Portrait of Jennie.

This is one of my favorite movies of all times and especially because of the performance of Jennifer Jones as truly she is so lovely and enchanting to watch on screen as I think this movie and song of Bernadette both show how truly amazing her talent as an actress as she gives out such marvelous performances in both flims.  . Joseph Cotton gives us one of his finest hours as he tries find out more about this girl to be inspired paint one amazing painting of her. Ethel Barrymore plays Miss Spinney as she plays this old woman whom often buys the paintings as she plays such a remarkable role. Lillian Gish plays a remarkable role in this movie. I would say everyone gives out such marvelous performances in this movie.

This film has a very haunting theme with black and white and then a color background as it’s truly a wonderful film to watch unfold on the screen.  The last shot in Technicolor is breathtaking to watch on screen. I love the special effects of this classic movie as it won for best special effects as one can see why as it is simply marvelous effects that truly make this movie a magical movie to watch unfold on the screen.

Dmitri Tiomkin’s lush score is truly one of the best scores of classic era of movies that matches greatly with the wonderful visuals of this classic movie. This marvelous classic is a sweeping love story that you will simply adore to watch anytime.

The ruth rating:five bette's