Blancanieves Screen 15 articles

Blancanieves

2012

Blancanieves Poster
  • As pretty as it is unsurprising, Blancanieves is severely lacking in expression. Berger strives to develop an aesthetic, or rekindle the relic of ancient film grammar, that will inform the pastiche's content, but the pacing issues keep the fastidiously composed style from becoming substance. Despite the integral, and successful, incorporation of ecstatic Spanish symphonies, Blancanieves is a feat of visual storyboarding rather than storytelling.

  • Though Mr. Berger conjures lovely antiquarian images — and uses Alfonso de Vilallonga’s score to shift the emotional current from seething melodrama to camp to gentle farce — “Blancanieves” never quite achieves the uncanny, haunting intensity of the silent films it so studiously and lovingly mimics.

  • Like The Artist, proof that it's perfectly possible to tell a story without (audible) words, even without looking/feeling remotely like a real Silent movie. Not one but two incidents where a corpse is artificially animated, cleverly reflecting the film's m.o. of breathing new life into moribund conventions, but prevailing impression is of retro chic...

  • My disappointment stems directly from its failure as film culture. The movie itself is fairly inventive and not unpleasant, but as a “neo-silent” it’s simply wrong-headed, and any intimacy with real silent movies would immediately make plain to you where the problems lie. Blancanieves does not possess, any more than The Artist does, the stylistic make-up of a true silent film.

  • The film is not just a postmodern compendium of quotes: it’s a search into the past to find the forces that led to the cinema of the present. Minus the political overtones of another great homage to old cinema— Miguel Gomes’ Tabu—Berger´s film is more a tale about envy, love and death, mixing comedy with a great sense of visual spectacle, than it is a reflection about history and cinema.

  • Blancanieves is painstakingly crafted, emotionally gripping at times, and more authentically Grimm than most interpretations, and it puts a slightly unsettling new spin on Prince Charming and the proverbial happily-ever-after ending. That said, Berger’s film ultimately isn’t quite as magical as it imagines itself to be.

  • While The Artist was a fairly good imitation of 1920s Hollywood filmmaking, Blancanieves is a pastiche of the 1928-29 era of European silent cinema. It draws on what I have termed the International Style of filmmaking, a late 1920s blend of influences from the French Impressionism, German Expressionism, and Soviet Montage movements. One could almost pass it off as a genuine film of the era.

  • ...Berger demonstrates such thorough understanding of his forebears, particularly Murnau and King Vidor, that the random anachronisms (like the prominent use of theremin in the score) never feel out of place. Unfortunately there's little to the story that matches the richness or conviction of the aesthetic—in fact, the content often feels like an afterthought. But if you're looking for visual kicks, this offers plenty.

  • Hopefully The Artist’s cute dog and cuter couple haven’t turned you off to the charms of silent cinema; there’s a whole world of psychosexual weirdness (just as reverent to film’s early years) in store with this Spanish-made riff on Snow White. Bearing an arresting similarity to the outré movies of Tod Browning (Freaks, The Unknown), Pablo Berger’s bullfighting fable builds an impressive head of menace in short order...

  • The new film from Spanish writer-director Pablo Berger is a silent, black-and-white film so witty, riveting, and drop-dead gorgeous that moviegoers may forget to notice that they can't hear the dialogue.

  • ‘The Artist” won the Best Picture Oscar, and the half-silent “Tabu” earned multiple raves. But Pablo Berger’s “Blancanieves” is the purest, boldest re-imagining of silent cinema yet... But the director isn’t after mere homage; his imagination roams over all of movie history.

  • Pablo Berger’s new film is no quickie: if you can sign onto this venture with that fully in mind, what remains is a gorgeously performed lullaby in pastiche, neither condescending to nor flattering its audience. In his casting—particularly lead child actress Sofias Oria—Berger reckons correctly that sentimentalism can, as a deliberate language, work wonders.

  • Unlike The Artist’s nostalgic facsimile of a generic, homogenous silent era, however, Blancanieves was never imagined as a reproduction of that fertile period of film history, but rather as a reinterpretation of it, and a meditation on the origins of film language itself. As such, Blancanieves includes a melting-pot of film references seamlessly melded and subsumed into a well-developed story.

  • Blancanieves is a lush, dreamy, deliriously cinematic work... Unlike The Artist, Berger’s film is more than mere jokey pastiche; it is an aesthetically engaged and solidly dramatic work that recreates the texture of early 20th century filmic art without reducing it to mimicry.

  • Spanish cinema’s best film in years... Only a Spanish art form could turn a children’s story based on the figure of Snow White into a tragedy and manages to seem at first glance to be a tribute to popular folklore and the bullfighting and flamenco traditions, which have become the quintessential Spanish ‘brand’, and then turn into such a subtle and devastating criticism of that same image by which Spain is identified throughout the world, one that is most closely associated with Andalusia.

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