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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Blancanieves (2012)

In 1920s Spain, after his wife (Macarena Garcia) dies in childbirth, a renowned toreador (Daniel Gimenez Cacho) marries a beautiful but evil beauty (Maribel Verdu, Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN), who treats his daughter (Sofia Ora as a child, Macarena Garcia as a woman) as a servant. When the evil stepmother orders her chauffeur (Pere Ponce) to take the girl into the woods and kill her, she is rescued by a band of bullfighting dwarfs who take her in. 2012 seemed the year for Snow White reboots (MIRROR MIRROR, SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN) but this Spanish offering is "inspired" by the Brothers Grimm tale rather than a literal retelling. Like THE ARTIST, this is a B&W silent film shot in the old Academy ratio (1.33). But unlike THE ARTIST, it's not shot in the style of silent cinema. The editing, shooting style and sexuality define it as a contemporary film. There's no fairy tale ending. Instead of Prince Charming, Snow White gets a lovesick dwarf (Sergio Dorado, probably the handsomest dwarf you'll ever see) for a lover and a creepy necrophilic ending. After all the glowing reviews that greeted it, I have to confess I was somewhat disappointed. As with all silent cinema, the music score is paramount and Alfonso De Vilallonga provides a varied and rich underscore. Directed by Pablo Berger. With Angela Molina (THAT OBSCURE OBJECT OF DESIRE).

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