Pan’s Labyrinth

I’m in London at the moment, but decided to take advantage of a wet and windy afternoon (tornados in North London) to take myself off to the Ritzy cinema. This is a great art cinema in Brixton (just a short bus ride from me in Vauxhall), and usually has something “foreign” that’s worth seeing. So yesterday’s treat was Pan’s Labyrinth:

Director: Guillermo Toro Origin: Spain Year: 2006 Duration: 119m Starring: Ariadna Gil, Maribel Verdu, Doug Jones, Ivana Baquero, Sergi Lopez

A fairy tale for adults inspired by the paintings of Francisco Goya and rooted, like THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE, in the context of war, this is del Toro’s most accomplished work in his own opinion. In 1940s Spain, recently remarried Carmen (Gil) and daughter Ofelia (Baquero) move in with the cold and authoritarian new husband, Vidal (López), a captain in General Franco’s army. Finding her new life difficult, Ofelia seeks refuge in a labyrinth she discovers next to the house. A magical creature named Pan, the guardian of the labyrinth, reveals that Ofelia is the long-lost princess of a magical kingdom. To discover the truth, she will have to accomplish three dangerous tasks. Del Toro’s startling vision rests on a profoundly moving story with universal appeal.

It was slightly odd seeing it subtitled into English – I’m more used to seeing French subtitles! But well worth seeing.

One thing that I did notice was that in France, at the end of the film, most people sit through the music and the credits at the end – “respect” to the makers of the film. Here in London, people were putting on their coats and leaving as the first credits started to roll. And people were coming in for the next showing before the credits had finished.

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