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AusChron: ‘Once Upon a Time in Spain’

AusChron: 'Once Upon a Time in Spain'

The Austin Chronicle is brimming with coverage for the local opening of Pan’s Labyrinth (directed by former Austin resident Guillermo Del Toro). Marc Savlov interviews Del Toro about the power of fairy tales:

Austin Chronicle: What’s your own, personal favorite cinematic fairy tale?

Guillermo Del Toro: I would say my top four would be Terry Gilliam’s ‘The Adventures of Baron Munchausen,’ Jean Cocteau’s ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ perhaps Neil Jordan’s ‘The Company of Wolves,’ and, funny enough, I don’t think people think about it as a fairy tale, but I would say ‘Wild at Heart’ by David Lynch.

Austin Chronicle: Care to explain that last one?

Guillermo Del Toro: I think that some movies are structured like a fairy tale, although they may not be seen as such. For example, [Tom Tykwer’s new film] ‘Perfume: The Story of a Murderer’ is very much like a fairy tale. It’s about a tone and the way the characters are sketched. Most of the characters in fairy tales need to be types that are not necessarily psychologically fleshed-out but that they are nevertheless incredibly strong characters. So, to me, ‘Wild at Heart’ has that sort of a journey structure, a journey into the darkness, if you will, and I think Lynch generally utilizes a lot of fairy tale elements in his films.

On the reviews side of things, Chronicle film editor Marge Baumgarten gives the film a 4.5-star write-up:

There are no happily-ever-afters here despite the exquisite beauty inherent in the face of the young actress Baquero. ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ catapults del Toro to the top ranks of international filmmakers. His fertile imagination appears to have no limit, and all his previous work is hopefully a mere warm-up for a fecund future.

And, if that all wasn’t enough, Chronicle editor (and SXSW co-founder) Louis Black offers the film a rather a glowing essay in his weekly column:

After just my first viewing of Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ – a stunning masterpiece – I decided that reading and considering negative reviews or strong criticism would be, for me, a waste of time. The film is so completely unique and startlingly fresh that I just can’t conceive of any objections to the film having anything terribly interesting to say. And, honestly, I don’t want to taint the powerful and pure experience of watching this film by reading niggling criticisms that invariably I obsess on countering, with all the panache with which one might worry an aching tooth.

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