The psychological western

The psychological western

high-noon-gary-cooper-1952-001-broken-window-001-00n-hk4

In the troubled aftermath of world war II as we had a more bleak outlook upon the world as the world shifted in tone so did the western to a darker outlook asborrowing elements of film noir to present a very different kind of hero to the one who had ridden West that may been a darker and more brutal hero of the wild west. Obsessive, violent and often masochistic, these angry, alienated protagonists lent the films psychological depth and moral complexity, helping to reinvigorate the genre and better enable it to grapple with the socio-political concerns of the Cold War era that changed the western forever. The shift in sensibility that darkened and reoriented the Hollywood western when, tentatively at first, it entered its ‘psychological’ phase in the 1940s can be illustrated by contrasting two images of John Wayne – from Stagecoach (1939) and The Searchers (1956) which are separated by 17 years and a cataclysmic era in American life as we changed so did the western.

The Searchers (1956)

In stagecoach as john ford introduced Wayne’s Ringo Kid spinning his Winchester in his right hand to flag down the Lordsburg-bound stage, with a dolly shot that loses focus as it becomes a close-up as shows the , sweat-streaked face of a prairie Adonis who has had to shoot his lame horse and been stranded on foot in hostile Apache country; the ominousness in his voice indicates he’s not as naive as he looks, but his greeting to the driver is genuinely friendly and welcoming. Knowing Ringo is travelling to New Mexico Territory to kill three brothers, the marshal riding shotgun arrests him as the marshal riding shotgun arrests him (partly to protect him), but lets him board the coach un-handcuffed. He agrees with the driver that Ringo is a fine boy, which Ringo proves with his treatment of of the prostitute Dallas (Claire Trevor), who has been ostracized by some of their uppity fellow passengers as he shows her kindness which others do not show her at all. When, after much danger, Ringo and Dallas are sent on their way to keep “safe from the blessings of civilization as he is safe and sound as he was treated kindly as anyone else on the couch.

A dolly shot of Wayne’s Ethan Edwards in The Searchers tells a different story. Seeking his adolescent niece Debbie, who had been abducted by Comanche seven years previously, Ethan arrives at a fort following the 7th Cavalry’s destruction of a Comanche camp as we see the bleak outlook upon the scene its contrasted image that shows a darker look upon the world.Implicitly, the insanity of these three blonde thus the  thus emphatically white – women owes to them having been raped repeatedly in captivity. After Ethan dismisses the recovered captives as no longer white but Comanch he turns away, then looks back sharply at Clifford mewling over the doll, the camera closing in quickly on his face, which, half-shaded by the brim of his hat, burns with hatred upon them. What sets both shots apart is the psychological context. Beyond giving Ringo the need to avenge his father and brother’s murders, there’s no evidence that Ford or Stagecoach’s writer Dudley Nichols gave a jot about his inner life as by the times of 1950’s we had a bleaker outlook as the world had darkened as we learned horrors of the last war we lost our sense of sweetness that shifted the outlaw forever.

Like Howard Hawks’s Oedipally themed Red River (1947) took all the cues from the cold war to bring the western to a more modern focus. Red River deconstructs many of the notions of the western as you see a big shift in way the outlaw is shown upon the screen in red river. The film stars John Wayne and Montgomery Clift and both men are equally impressive but they play such different images of the western notions we seen that we are seeing something feels more out of cold war n modern wars then the west as it’s a hybrid of traditionalist western and psychological western that shows how anxieties about America’s post-war realities had shifted our ideals of right and wrong. Howard Hawks is the kind of director I admire as he managed always have such human characters in his movies that felt so real to capture such real life feeling to them. Red river feels so real and raw as you feel like you’re actually there with the men on the cattle drive. It feels so real as it captures the west in such a way that doesn’t makes it feel more modern. William Wellman’s The Ox-Bow Incident (1943) had indicted mob rule. Raoul Walsh’s Pursued (1947; read more below), which reflected the popularization of Freudian theory in post-war American culture as both show different side of America.

The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)

Though The Ox-Bow Incident is considered the first psychological western involving as it does a son relieving his castration anxiety by exposing the inherent weakness of his pathologically cruel father that is different shift from western as no hero here but a grey area that shows that the west isn’t so kind in this classic must see western movie.

Image result for I Shot Jesse James

Fuller’s noirish directorial debut is both a piercing study of the emotional disarray of Jesse James’s killer Robert Ford as breaks down the whole idea of this man as a good man to paint a darker picture of the death to show us how this man was murdered by another man as shows the backstabbing nature of fame that be one of first noir western movies ever as it’s such a good western.

Image result for High Noon

The documentary-like picture that launched the 1950s cycle of town-taming westerns was a revision of John Ford’s ultra-conservative My Darling Clementine (1946). It reconfigured Ford’s complacent racist Wyatt Earp to the egalitarian, conscientious Sheriff Will Kane. High Noon tragically depicts the failure of democracy: Kane’s stand is resisted by the townsmen as also it does have some notions of the cold war in its story. A film denounced by John Wayne as “the most un-American thing I’ve ever seen as it’s simply a classic that has different outlook to the western.

The Manichaean struggle that characterized Mann’s westerns was rendered most starkly in The Naked Spur, shot entirely outdoors and limited to the shifting dynamics among five marginalized whites. The Naked Spur is a five-piece character drama which excels largely because of Mann’s effortless direction of the shifting allegiances among the central players that is a notion that plays right into the cold war idealism of shifting tides against Americans as we see that play into the story. On top of the sumptuous visuals, this frontier setting also allows the film to focus single-mindedly on the theme of humanity apart from society. Humanity at its most basic level always wants to find a way to live on as even in frontier. It’s a classic western that you will enjoy.

Wellman’s atypical western, his second adapted from a novel by the Nevada writer Walter Van Tilburg Clark following The Ox-Bow Incident, was produced by John Wayne’s company and featured Hedda Hopper’s son William in a supporting part. In Track of the Cat, William A. Wellman sought to create an American myth—the three brothers, each with his own flaws, set out after the titular feline Mcguffin that speaks to the cold war fears that we had this idea that wasn’t really truth but fears brought upon us as it’s a wonderfully acted western with a wonderful cast that is such a good western classic.

Image result for warlock 1959

The last event western of the 1950s brought the genre’s engagement with McCarthyism to its high-water mark. Edward Dmytryk’s Warlock, so abundant in richly drawn characters and moral ambiguity that shows the grey areas of the west in a way that many westerns dont show us.The moviue is deconstruction of western tropes beginning with the heroic stranger riding into a troubled town. Indeed, when the stoic and implacable Clay Blaisedell (Henry Fonda) shows up in Warlock, armed with his famous pair of gold-handled Colt pistols and his loyal sidekick, Tom Morgan (Anthony Quinn) Despite Clay’s seemingly honorable intentions, he’s certainly no hero, but rather a mercenary who trades law and order as a commodity as playing upon another notion of money that capitalism has elements of greed upon it. In Edward Dmytryk’s ’Scope Western, the mining town of Warlock is at the mercy of a band of rogue cowboys that truly is such a special western classic I hope You liked my talk today about the western.

The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick

The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick

Image result for the lady from the black lagoon hollywood monsters and the lost legacy of milicent patrick

One of films greatest sins was its way it had women shown in the past in classic movies is that women was taking to backseat to men in that era as  Natural, the Alice Guy-Blache documentary, and Mallory O’Meara’s book, The Lady From the Black Lagoon is the shattering of these assumptions that men were the creators of classic Hollywood myth. These books show women are responsible for far more of classic Hollywood’s glitz as in fact in case with The Lady From the Black Lagoon, a woman is the entire reason we love one of Universal’s most unique monsters.

Mallory O’Meara is an author with passion for her subject. The Lady From the Black Lagoon isn’t strictly a biography on Milicent Patrick, although the artist’s life is written out from birth to death it addresses many issues about the problems women faced in the golden age as the book has social commentary on the sexism of that era as also it details the story of the hunt for the information which also has many layers of sexism in that quest too for the information on this woman as many said a woman couldn’t have done this stuff she is suggesting she did.  O’Meara’s argument is that the sexism Patrick experienced in the industry, and the eventual destruction of her career by Universal makeup overseer Bud Westmore, isn’t unique as it goes deep into the me-too movement of sexism now as we see mirrors to our time now.

The Lady from the Black Lagoon main Focus on Patrick herself is where The Lady from the Black Lagoon is strongest point for me as you learn about life of this remarkable woman. Mallory O’Meara traces her origins to Hearst Castle, where her father Camille was the chief architect. Milicent walked to the beat of her own drum which led to her family disowning her as it mirrors that of many classic movie noir women that are strong women that men think about as the rebel or bad woman eventually Milicent would be drawn to Hollywood to work for Walt Disney as an animator and being a background extra for features that shows her talent as she would later move to universal that would be the game changing movement as her creation of the Gill-Man costume was game-changing and Universal knew that, right down to putting her on a cross-country road tour to promote the Creature butt because Universal makeup man Bud Westmore refused to let people believe he didn’t create everything he purposefully sabotaged Patrick’s career that in turn ruined her name forever. The Lady From the Black Lagoon is worth reading for its examination of the woman at its center as it talks about an amazing woman that i feel history overlooked for shameful reasons.

 

 

‘The Trouble with Angels:the female gaze

‘The Trouble with Angels:the female gaze

The Trouble with Angels (1966) was the last film that Ida Lupino directed, coming at the tail end of her long period as a television director. In many ways, it represents a sharp departure from the socially conscious noirs that she’s best known for, and yet for fans of the film, it feels like an apt continuation of the gendered critiques of women. I talk about this movie today.

The Trouble with Angels:the female gaze

The Trouble with Angels via Quintessence

Hayley Mills rebellious teenager is sent to boarding school and grows to appreciate the calling of the nuns who teach her a better way. Its a coming of age that follows the exploits of two adolescent girls as they traverse three years at St. Francis Academy that shows them getting into trouble. Veteran actress / director Ida Lupino who’s current gig was directing Gilligan’s Island was a natural choice to bring this movie to screen as she shows us a diffrent look upon women that is not the natural order of women. Its about a series about women. Hayley Mills plays the entitled brat, Mary, with just the right amount of mischievousness to make her likable to her role as she sees the death of elderly families as she doubts things.  Rosalind Russell brings her considerable acting chops to the role of Mother Superior. One would say ida’s gaze upon the camera as she has her talents look upon the female gaze of how women are expected fill contain roles in our society.and funny coming of age story from Ida Lupino, the eighth and final of her directed as she has an all female cast give out such wonderful performances but its look may be bit jarring to some as you see this movie trough the eyes of the female gaze what we expect of them in a light tone.

Image result for the Trouble with Angels

A sweet confection with ambition mainly confined to light comedy, but with undercurrents of the lingering sadness of past lives. the fragility of a human life, that are just perceptible enough to take effect. Not a weighty or complex work, but it takes the time to absorb multiple points of view as we see the many points of view of women that you see how their husbands have died etc as some nuns lose their close friends you see them sad about it its somewhat sad at times as she gazes upon these troubled outlooks of life you see the girls try find something fun out of all the troubles. Its a very sincere outlook upon how women in society are expected fill contain roles but when they change their roles they are considered odd by society.

Image result for the Trouble with Angels

This is a story about human connection and decency that shows how humanity has such connections that people feel. . It’s a coming-of-age tale that is not brought on through trial by fire, but mostly through inspiring leadership by example. The Mother Superior is a decent human being who cares about her charges that makes them understand they have better things in life then get in trouble. Gerry Goldsmith’s versatile and evocative score. It turns on a dime from playful to stirring that really is something good to listen to upon the screen. This movie shows power of female friendship with their respective bonds. It’s a very funny film too with the endless pranks proving to be constantly enjoyable when carried out and dealt with by such a talented cast that is simply a joy to watch form start to finish.

westworld:Deprogramming the future

 

vh6wvypcfx1cp2daetae

Westworld Had a Really Dark View of What theme-parks were like as its view caused a drop in people at Disneyland. It also had dark view of humanity.  today i talk about this cult classic and the TV show n its respective follow ups about how westworld addresses the bleak future of our world n how tech can really be something evil. so i can talk about it today.

Westworld, set in the American West in the mid-to-late nineteenth century, tells the story of a futuristic amusement park where many of the “cast members” (to borrow a term of Disney-world parlance) are not human, but rather humanoid robots as we see the scary bleak idea of how the future we will have these robots that we don’t trust as these creations can be seen as mirroring those found in theme-parks such as Disney-land. This parallel with Disney, however, can be pushed further. In the 1950s, America was the model nation for the West in a postwar world and Walt Disney became one of its chief emissaries. The park’s creator wanted to imagine a realm of dreams and fantasy. It was the public face of what would become a multibillion dollar corporation and culture-making machine. In the 1970s, the creation of Disneyworld went even further; the decision to open it part of Walt Disney’s desire for full control over his creation (something he lacked in the crowded space of Anaheim). Over time, the multiple parks in the Disney Empire, perhaps not dissimilar to the many different parts of west-world. Re-watching the movie now you would consider it dated but even as TV showed us that we can’t trust these ai in theme-parks how we to know if they can go crazy on us.

 

 

Parallels between humans and androids without actually saying as they simply are life-like robots that even die when shot like real humans. When the androids malfunction, they’re brought to a repair shop. But it’s not made up to look like some futuristic engineering space as repaired then brought to life. Although the death in Medieval World is the moment the humans in charge of Delos lose control, the real tipping point of the movie is when the humans decide to keep guests in a park they know is malfunctioning as the people running care less about safety then anything. Westworld’s world is a reality is shaped by our world’s view on f consumerism which show n other movies expand upon this notion. the worlds that Delos made in the tv show really show things changed from movie version in some ways with new layers building on top of the older ones like sediment in a geology of consumerism that really is scary in way.  It is  why many feared when movie released to go to Disney-land.

The Gunslinger feels like a Terminator more than anything else. but he also feels as human as the living humans in the film, including the West World guests that paid money to kill him over and over again along with many others in this world as made for humans to kill before they go crazy on us. It does also show the dark n grim reality of humanity we are always wanting control over everything as it also mirrors the control Walt wanted over this theme-parks. Writer and director Michael Crichton created an amazign idea that would later have other movie versions of this notion such as, Futureworld (1976), and a short-lived television series, Beyond Westworld (1980).and the TV show n Jurassic Park as the notion giving in Jurassic Park is controlling of dinosaurs as recreating wild-life for public show in a theme-park does address the nature of fear of these places to some as we may be able show you things in these theme-parks that are cool but they can be also scary as we can risk abusing that power too. Westworld’s anachronistic frontier becomes a space of emotional and psychological rebirth for wealthy patrons and park staff as does in many of his other works too this theme can be scary or a good thing as looking upon this today i reflected upon this movie as its a great movie n its follow up movies such as Futureworld (1976), and a short-lived television series, Beyond Westworld (1980).and the TV show n Jurassic Park all are wonderful i hope it does show you an outlook of the things in ways you never seen before. I hope you enjoyed this talk today.

top eleven musicals

I always adored musicals ever snice i was little boy i adored the genre of musicals. Musicals and Hollywood glitz and glam go hand in hand. Whether its romance, tragedy, comedy or even horror you’re after, there are plenty of adaptations and original movie musicals that have you covered. In a cinematic marketplace as the one we have these days, the movie musical is making a comeback that’s more than welcome as its always welcomed many diffrent types of genres and ideas as today i talk about my personal top eleven musicals all time. They have five musicals that are simply classics. meet me in st louis-cabin in sky-42th street-the pirate-top hat among others that are simply must sees as i listed 11 movies that are simply classics.

1396028_542364819176474_713271636_n

11.an american in paris

In 1949, Vincente Minnelli began discussions with producer Arthur Freed for a musical based on George Gershwins work. Freed had a vague notion for a musical about an expatriate Yank living in Paris as this musical classic has everything form great musical numbers to wonderful acting that may be This may be Gene Kelly’s best performance as he truly gives a wonderful performance.

10.West Side Story 

West Side Story  was named the best picture of 1961 and won 10 Academy Awards, it is not much mentioned by movie fans these days, and the old warhorse “Singin’ in the Rain” is probably more seen and certainly better loved by everyone but this movie takes the tragic Shakespeare story of Romeo and Juliet as it modernizes it. A groundbreaking musical, West Side Story is a spectacular story of love and violence, delivered with high energy performances, superb choreography and wonderful acting that may showcase why Natalie wood was such a charming actress. West Side Story is a stellar achievement, an unblinking look at a street-level romantic tragedy turned into one of Hollywood’s all-time best musicals all time.

9. The Young Girls of Rochefort

One of the most celebrated and an influential movement of international cinema is no doubt, French New Wave. This movement, that began in the late 1950s and continued into the 1960s, is known notably for the work of directors like François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard, with films like The 400 Blows and Breathless. While most French New Wave films graced the screen in black and white, with plots reminiscent of Hollywood genres like gangster film and film noir, there was a director painting French screens with effervescent, candy-colored hues of lyrical wit. Jacques Demy is a director that stands apart from the rest as this movie is a tribute to the golden age Hollywood musical. Michel Legrand’s memorable music is immediately set into motion as it’s something truly special form the start to its end as it’s such a fun musical. The Young Girls of Rochefort has such wonderful performances that stand out. It’s truly one of best musicals all time.

8.  A Star is Born(1954)

Judy Garland’s grand comeback movie and an inside look at the studio system golden era, A Star Is Born is an engrossing if over-long near-classic. With her powerfully emotional singing and acting, Garland dominates the movie as the singer on the way to stardom, but James Mason also gives an affecting performance as the drunken star actor who helps to launch her career. Star Is Born is simply a wonderful musical classic that showcases the wonderful acting of Judy Garland. Its a wonderful classic that simply is a must see today.

7.Meet Me in St. Louis

Meet Me in St. Louis is a nostalgically idealized little memory book of a musical chronicling a year in the life of a suburban family in turn-of- the-century St. Louis, MO. Divided into a series of charming and delightfully idiosyncratic vignettes that all make for all seasons of a year. Meet Me in St. Louis was a movie I’ve been in love with all my life as its simply something so fun to watch from start to finish that makes it a must see classic with wonderful acting n wonderful musical numbers that makes all a movie worth watching anytime.

 

6.The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

A Soothing,mournful, and delightful exhilaration from the first frame to the last. Didn’t know that The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is a non-stop musical that simply is a tear-jerking classic love story.Every performance, musical note, and display of filmmaking technique culminates in a truly stirring experience, and by the end, I was crying and contemplating and smiling and experiencing all kinds of feelings as simply its a must see classic movie.

5.My Fair Lady

My Fair Lady is a film which remains popular, partly because it contains a message that remains relevant to modern audiences. It also perfectly combines all the elements of a great film into a winning package that continues to attract viewers. The picture was a financial and critical success winning eight Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Costume Design. But for me personally, I adore this musical for its’ cast, story, music and costumes as all come together make a classic you should see today.

4.kiss me kate

Kiss Me Kate premiered on Broadway in 1948 to immediate acclaim. Written by Samuel and Bella Spewack with a score by Cole Porter, Kiss Me Kate took Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” (1593) and turned it into a backstage musical. The plot follows recently divorced actors who star in a Broadway version of Shrew and let their personal drama spill onto the stage. The “play-within-a-play” concept is very cleverly done because the backstage conflicts between the ex-husband and wife mirror the onstage conflicts between Petruchio and Katherine. The actors can play out their arguments on stage and it all still fits the play! Its a wonderful musical adaptation that has wonderful performances n wonderful musical numbers. as simply its a must see classic that you will adore anytime.

3.Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

One of the greatest of all the classic MGM musicals, it’s got adventure, romance and some of the best choreography ever put in a dance number. Howard Keel, one of the studio’s bright musical stars opposite Jane Powell gives a wonderful perfomance along with other wonderful acting talents of mgm to make this delightful musical stand the test of time. It’s a sheer delight with terrific songs, terrific performances and terrific cinematography to create 1850 Oregon territory that simply is something you should see.

2.wizard of oz

The Wizard of Oz is one of my favorite film of all time. It has very special place in my heart as i always recall about seeing as boy every year it aired on cbs as its quite possibly the pinnacle of cinema as its such a wonderful movie form start to finish with such wonderful acting and musical numbers you always want revisit oz. The Wizard of Oz is often cited as one of the greatest achievements in cinema history as simply it’s a marvelous classic you should see today

1.singin in rain

One of the few original Hollywood musicals to emerge from the Golden Age of musicals, it seems inconceivable that this film was not no for Best Picture. Easily one of the very best of the decade, it deserved at least ten nominations. Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds shine in the film, each doing some of the finest work of their careers as they give out such marvelous performances. Gene Kelly is a robust, powerful and confident dancer, thrilling to watch in any number of this movie. Superb on every level, it remains a classic in every sense of the word, and utterly timeless movie to watch anytime.

Image result for classic movie musicals

I hope you enjoyed my eleven musicals list all time. I would say so many wonderfully charming musicals form hte golden age of flim that i could listed far more movies then i did as simply you can always find a wonderful musical classic to enjoy anytime form the many musicals form Hollywood’s golden age. I hope you enjoyed my top musicals list.

75th anniversary of D-Day

75th anniversary of D-Day

The Normandy landings were the operations on Tuesday, June 6, 1944 of the Allied forces invasion of France in Operation Overlord during World War II. Referred to as D-day, it was the largest seaborne invasion in history. The operation began as the liberation of German-occupied France, and later Europe from Nazi control, and laid the foundations of the Allied victory on the Western Front. German casualties in D-Day have been estimated at 4,000 to 9,000 men. Allied casualties were at least 10.000, with 4,414 confirmed dead. it was day that was one biggest moments in history.

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s D-Day Prayer  was to ask Americans pray for our solders. the day was historic turning point in our history.

we are up here as all we can see is a few ships shooting like mad. they had air-man not able see the biggest landing of all time. the beaches below countless men would die.  Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.
Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened. He will fight savagely. But this is the year 1944 ! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground.
Our Home Fronts have given us an superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world marching together to Victory!
I have full confidence in your devotion to duty and skill in battle.
We will accept nothing less than full Victory!
Good Luck! And let us all beseech blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking. 75 years ago d-day had the eyes of world upon the allied powers to free the world form the axis. thanks to all men that served us 

This year marks 75 years since the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, more commonly known as D-day. On June 6, 1944, in one of the most well-remembered moments of World War II, American, British, and Canadian forces stormed the 50-mile stretch of beach.

Ray W. Barker Papers, Box 1, Papers Pertaining to COSSAC and SHAEF, 1942-1945 (1)

Despite their losses, the Allied forces were able to establish a foothold on the beaches that they would continue to consolidate with more fighting. The battle of Carentan, for example, resulted in the Allies securing the city on June 14 and allowed Omaha and Utah beaches to link together. Operation Overlord came to its conclusion at the end of August. Paris was liberated on August 25, and the German forces retreated across the Seine five days later as we went into paris with cheers. we should thank all those brave men that served us.  Its simply one of biggest moments in history. 75 years ago d-day had the eyes of world upon the allied powers to free the world form the axis. thanks to all men that served us

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.

Image result for pan's labyrinth

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.

Image result for pan's labyrinth

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.