Sunday, January 28, 2007

Pan's Labyrinth: The Big Questions



I'm not into warlocks, hogwarts, witches and unicorns, so whenever I see the word "fantasy" in a movie description (unless it's immediately followed by the words Speedos or Brazilian dudes), I look the other way.

I am, however, very much into Spanish cinema. And I am over-the-top into the new film Pan's Labyrinth by director Guillermo del Toro. Set in the time of the fascist revolution in Spain in the 1940s, a young girl stumbles into a magical world over which she is to reign provided she can complete three challenges. It's kind of like The Wizard of Oz meets The Secret Garden by way of
any WWII, Nazi-resistance movie.

Pan's Labyrinth is no children's movie, though. In fact, it's quite Biblical. It questions the merit of obedience and sacrifice and leads the viewer through the more benevolent forms of these concepts all the way to their most violent, hate-filled extremes. For me, watching the trials of the young Ofelia found me asking myself questions about the idea of the garden of Eden, of Jesus' sacrifice and the story of Abraham being asked to sacrifice his only son Issac. Is the biblical notion of sacrifice - of Jesus having to endure the shame and pain of his death here on earth really the only way to expiate our sins? Was it really such a horrible thing that Eve ate from a tree? Why and how is Satan? Some pretty heady stuff for a Friday evening.

I'd go into this further but I don't want to spoil the movie for you. Go see it, let me know what you think, and we'll discuss.

1 comment:

James said...

Since the man who brings you Nasty Pig has a blog but doesn't seem to want to receive any comments (or at least I had could not find any way to post a comment of any sort except to go to his Nasty pig website and contact him through that channel, I thought I'd post my email to him here on this blog which encourages a variety of opinions, intelligently and respectfully. So here goes:

David Lauterstein:

We all grew up being called nasty names from fudge packer to sodomite, to pig bottom. While I understand the humor in making fun of ourselves it is time to tone it down. we have reached a time when gay marriage, equal rights, etc. are going to get attention but it's not going to happen if I give mom an HX or take her for a walk down eighth avenue with advertisements ranging from loving couples adopting children to bare backing parties. It doesn't really further our cause toward equal treatment. And my mom is a bleeding heart liberal who is a supporter of many minority causes But Nasty Pig? Really? Is that how you view yourself and the models your recruit?


Shame on YOU for being so short sided and not even taking the time to think about what gayconversativeliberal is trying to say. I think it's time for people in their 40s or 50s or whatever you are to grow up and realize that most of us don't want to live in the ghetto forever and perpetuate the stereotypes that give the Christian Right all the ammunition they need. If I see one more gay boy wearing a shirt that says "Top Loader" I'm going to scream.

Calm down. A relatively well-balanced, articulate blogger should not be the first person you go after. There's a long line before him.

Your response disgusted me. And by the way, give people the opportunity to respond to such libelous commentary. Every blogger gives readers a space to comment. Why don't you?