Wednesday, April 3, 2013


The new Spanish film Blancanieves is an updated version of the classic Grimm's fairy tale, Snow White. There's a dark-haired heroine, an evil stepmother, a band of compact friends, but everything else is different.

 Set in Seville, Spain during the 1920's, there is bullfighting and flamenco dancing, all shot in glorious black and white. I should mention that it is a silent film, although so mesmerizing in its beauty, so richly enhanced by vibrant music, I scarcely noticed. Comparisons will be made with the 2011 award winning silent film, The Artist, but that would be fair only in both being entertaining stories.

 I'm a sucker for beautiful black and white photography and so much of Blancanieves is a celebration of just that. In its early days, cinema was a novelty. The excitement and entertainment wasn't based on the impact of a performance or the quality of the images, but for the simple fact the pictures moved.

 A silent film made despite technological advancement is trendy. But perhaps the nostalgia that it triggers suggests a longing for the mystery and allure of a single image and the story we imagine it tells.

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