Blancanieves (Snow White)

Poster for Blancanieves (Snow White)

Autumn 2013 wWednesday series

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 7:00pm

Acadia Cinema's Al Whittle Theatre
450 Main Street, Wolfville, NS

Directed by Pablo Berger

Screenplay by Pablo Berger

Starring Maribel Verdú , Daniel Giménez Cacho, and Ángela Molina

Rated PG · 1h 44m
Spain / Belgium / France

View trailer

Blancanieves (Snow White) In this silent, black-and-white movie, Spanish director Pablo Berger presents a twist on the Snow White fairy tale that is set in 1920s Seville and centered on a female bullfighter. The story opens with a famous matador, Antonio Villalta (Daniel Giménez Cacho), who is filled with swaggering ego. All goes wrong for him. He is paralyzed in the ring, and his beloved wife dies in childbirth. Their daughter, Carmen (Macarena García), is raised by her grandmother until Antonio unwisely marries the heartless Encarna (Maribel Verdú, Pan’s Labyrinth), who wants only his money, ignores him in a wheelchair in his room, and adopts Carmen only to give her a room in the barn and put her to work at hard labor. Encarna, meanwhile, dominates her male assistant in classic boot-and-whip style, and Carmen is able to sneak into the mansion and bond lovingly with her father. Carmen is forced to escape, wanders in the forest, and is discovered by a troupe of dwarves who travel between cities staging bullfights. They name her Blancanieves, Spanish for Snow White. When one of them is wounded during a fight, she leaps into the ring and distracts the bull, using matador skills she learned from her father. Eventually she, too, becomes a famed matador. Although the story draws on the Brothers Grimm and the legend of Snow White, Blancanieves is anything but a children’s film. It is a full-bodied, visually stunning silent film of the sort that might have been made by the greatest directors of the 1920s. “The delightful The Artist, which slipped away with the Academy Award for best picture, cheated a little by having tongue-in-cheek fun with its silence, and even allowing a few words to sneak in. Pablo Berger’s Blancanieves exploits the silent medium for its strengths, including the fact that it can so easily deal with fantasy. This is as exciting, in many of the same ways, as the greatest traditional silent masterpieces. It’s a Spanish film, but of course silent films speak an international language… This film is a wonderment, urged along by a full-throated romantic score. As with The Artist, I believe audiences will discover they like silent films more than they think they do.” (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times) “Pablo Berger’s Blancanieves is the purest, boldest re-imagining of silent cinema yet.” (Farrah Smith Nehme, New York Post) “All I can say is that there’s a flash of pure inspiration, unfakeable and unmistakable, in this extraordinarily enjoyable film, a silent-movie melodrama version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves set in southern Spain. It feels saturated with pleasure: it is extremely pleasurable to watch, and shows every sign of having been extremely pleasurable to make. The gladiatorial scenes in the bullring are superbly good, and Berger takes inspiration from Hitchcock, with hints of Rebecca and Psycho, Buñuel, Browning and Almodóvar, and conjures a fascinatingly ambiguous ending: melancholy, eerie and erotic. A film to treasure.” (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian)