Saturday, January 20, 2007

Pan's Labyrinth

As I write this, I am washing my friend Joseph's sheets for him. I took a look at them and they were some of the grossest things I've ever seen in my life. I decided to do him a favor rather than have him live in complete squalor.

My room mate went home for a weekend, so I have had the room to myself for a little while. It's been nice. Not nice that he's gone of, course, but nice to have a bit of solitude. We all need that every now and then. It's given me time to clean up the room and get some homework done without distraction.

I saw Pan's Labyrinth at the theater today with Jason. I am very glad that I got to see it on the big screen (first time was on the computer) because it's such a great film ... one I would definitely not hesitate to see again. I appreciated it so much more the second time around. It's a beautiful, brutal, passionate, film that's filled with subtext. I have no doubt that upon a third viewing it will become one of my favorite films.

I read the Focus On The Family review of Pan's Labyrinth and was extremely disappointed with it. It seems as if their reviewers go into a film with a checklist. The checklist has a list of every swear word and so they can tally up how many they here. It has a spot for them to detail every violent act or implication. It has a box for sex, too, but they didn't need that one for this film (although in order not to keep the box empty, they had to mention that the main character takes a bubble bath during the course of the movie). They make these huge paragraphs listing everything they find offensive and them often sum it up vaguely at the end with either a very bleak or very hopeful paragraph.

In this case, the last paragraph describes the film as a "Saw-meets-Narnia-like film." This could not be further from the truth. Pan's Labyrinth is very violent, but it is not a violence meant to titillate a group of teenage boys with raging hormones. It is a serious, horrifying kind of violent. Saw is a sadistically violent gore fest with absolutely no meaning. Disney's Narnia film was a second rate envisioning of C.S. Lewis' classic tale. Pan's Labyrinth is a cinematic masterpiece ... through and through. It's a story about magic, innocence, and so many other things.

Go see it. Find it at a theater. Sit in your seat and be engulfed by it's beauty ... and it's horror. It's not a film for children, so leave them at home. If you're like me, you'll leave the theater very affected and having seen one of the best movies in recent years.

No comments: