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Another example of the Spanish dominance in the genre of magical realism -- it should not be thought of as "fantasy". Magical realism is predominantly about juxtaposition. Thus you are not expected, ultimately, to invest in the magical side of the film, nor the realism side of it. Rather, you are expected to respond to the impact that results from the relationship between the former AND the latter. In some ways, and on some occasions, this is supposed to evoke a moral judgment (ie., the child was better off in her fantasy world, at least there hope existed) Ultimately, that sort of moral judgment is a trivia in cases like this, in part because we just don't buy it. In that sense then, much like tragedy in general, there is an affective response to a film like Pan's Labyrinth -- an emotional experience that is distinct to the genre. Hard to put one's finger on what it is -- a sense of sublime presence, a sense of pity and awe? Something in that order. The movie does produce that, but I did find the ending a trifle unsatisfying. Believe it or not, I preferred the ending in AI, which was Spielberg's foray into this genre. At the end of such texts, the magical blends with the real, and it is largely the plausibility of that blend that determines, at least for me, the strength of the work. So at the end of PAn I have to say to myself "yes in her mind, she got out of the real hell she was in." Spielberg's AI does pull his Pinochio like character out of "reality hell" too, but he does so in a manner that does not rely on the "and then I woke" logic of the "in the actor' head" solution. Instead, he uses an element of plot structure that creates an inevitable resolution of the two realms -- the pinochio figure has a relationship with time that is not mortal -- as a result tragedy can be overcome (tragedy requires mortality as its condition) Because the little boy can sit at the bottom of the ocean saying "please make me into a little boy" for a thousand or even ten thousand years -- eventually something can go down to the bottom of the ocean, find him, and do exactly that. That, to me, was a brilliant resolution (what do I know -- everyone hated AI) Anyway, the parallels between the films as examples of magical realism are apparent to me, and since I like the genre I would say it is well worth watching. In a certain sense, it is the only sort of film, I go to with any real sense of hope.
|7/10||basilherringboneiii@ - 116 reviews|
4.2.2007 - age: 13-17 - 4 replies
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