Wednesday, 24 March 2010

My research on Pan's Labyrinth

This is what I got so far on the comparison between the civil war and the film as well what the quest represent in the film as well to Ofelia.

The time setting of Pan’s Labyrinth takes place after the Civil War in 1944. The Civil War in Spain started in 1936 and finished in 1939. The war was between the Fascist and the Republic. It was a chance for the workers (Republic) of Spain to rise against the Fascist, who ruled Spain through their stature. The war for the Republic was to gain freedom and equality in Spain. However the Republic battle for equality was a disastrous one because they didn’t have enough resources to help them win the fight against the Fascist. Even though the Republic had some outside help they still couldn’t defeat the Fascist.
( [Acessed 24/03/2010])

Figure 1: Civil War picture, [accessed 24/03/2010]

A lot of the events in the film represent more or less of how the Civil War has turned out. With the main character Ofelia as the republics, wanting to be free and independent. And the villain, and Ofeila’s step-farther, Captain Vidal as the fascists, having the Military showing it’s control over the public by using fear and power. Ofelia trying to be more herself, but Vidal is forcing her to be more realistic, and want her to obey him with out question. Just like how he is doing with the public.

The fantasy side of Pan’s Labyrinth can also be connected to the events that happened in the film through the quests that Ofelia has to complete, most noticeably the Pale Man Banquet quest (Figure 2) and Captain Vidal’s Dinning room (Figure 4).

Figure 2 (left): Pale Man’s Banquet, Pan’s Labyrinth, (2006) Directed by Guillermo del Toro. [DVD] Spain: Telecinco
Figure 3 (right): A Feast at Captain Vidal’s dinning room, Pan’s Labyrinth, (2006) Directed by Guillermo del Toro. [DVD] Spain: Telecinco

For Pale Man’s Banquet, there’s a lot of food on the table waiting to be eaten by anyone. However by eating his food you will be eaten by the Pale Man himself. This could be reflected on an event in the film when Captain Vidal was holding a feast with some of Spain’s important people, and by accepting his food they have succumb to his ideals. The banquet and the feast are like an invitation from the host to the guests, but by eating their food you accept their terms. For the Pale man your life, for the Vidal your loyalty.

The film also shows the tough challenges and choices the main character, Ofelia, has to make to get away from her step-farther. A prime example of this is her last quest (Figure 4), which is to open a portal for her to get away from her step-farther Captain Vidal, but the Faun told her that to open the portal it needs the blood of an innocent, her brother. Ofelia declines this offer but the Faun tries to tempt her by bring up her freedom, that she will lose if she doesn’t accept the price to open the portal, but still she declines. Ofelia wants her freedom from the Vidal more than anyone but not of the price of her borther’s safety no matter how tempting the offer is. This moment in the film shows how thoughtful Ofelia is to others, unlike her step-farther.

Figure 4: The last quest, Pan’s Labyrinth, (2006) Directed by Guillermo del Toro. [DVD] Spain: Telecinco

If you need any more information, tell me what we need tomorrow when we meet up at 9:30 or so

Matt and Shahbir

Can you post up the stuff you did today so I can stick it in the presentation? If you can't put it on the blog can you email it to me:


Left to do

We got quite a bit done today, the slides we need to do are:

- Pre-Raphalite Brotherhood in Symbolism
- Celtic Signs (I'll have a look, but like you said, theres not much )
^^^ Lets not bother with these two, no-one will know what we're going on about anyway
- Jorge Luis Borges
- Wizard of Oz - Done
- CS Lewis - Narnia Done
- Conclusion

After all this is done, it works out to be 25 slides, which sounds about right. Im going to add some stuff on CS Lewis and Wizard of OZ in a minute, so they should be done. Ethan, you said you were doing Borges which is cool. We won't have much more to do, just the intro and conclusion, which we can botch together.

Jorge Luis Borges...

I'm part way through writing about JorgeLuis Borges and i'll be able to finish that whe i get back from the gym. I have tried to look into celtic art but i can't seem to find much good information as such and wikipedia is down at the moment to look for some referneces, so maybe we could leave that section out? Can you decide what you want to do, Sam, and tell me what i need to do...

New notes about it being linked to freud

finding this up on the internet

A little girl's fantasy takes stage in the mountains of fascist Spain at a military camp fighting against the rebels. Ofelia, a child with a wild imagination, travels with her weak, pregnant mother to meet her new
stepfather, a merciless captain of the Spanish army. Upon her arrival, she discovers a labyrinth, is later led by a fairy to middle of it, and meets a faun that tells her that she is a princess from another world. He promises her that she can go there and be reunited with her father as long as she completes three tasks for him. In her attempts to complete these tasks, Ofelia is forced to deal with the reality of mortality and learn the difference between right and wrong even if that means self-sacrifice.

Concept #1: The id, the superego, and ego

Freud made a footprint in psychological history when dividing the mind into three sections that exhibit forces upon each other to maintain regularity. Those three elements are the id, the ego, and the superego. The id is the part of the mind that aims to please itself through instant gratification, while the ego subdues it (the id is animal instinct and the ego is the being reacting to societal constraints). Most consider the ego, the self. The superego is the law, rewarding good behavior and punishing poor behavior.

The scene that best displays Freud's theory of the mind is during Ofelia's attempt to complete the second task given to her by the faun. Under the faun's instruction, Ofelia must retrieve a dagger from within a
tomb-like chamber without eating food on the table. Ofelia retrieves the dagger without taking a second look at the food, but on the way back the grapes entrance her. At the head of the table is a creature without eyeballs and large folds of skin indicating a very gluttonous person prior to his demise. Upon eating the grapes, the creature is awaken and attempts to eat Ofelia, but she is able to escape. The creature represents the awakening of the id within Ofelia by succumbing to the impulse to eat the grapes. Ofelia realizes what she has done and the self (ego) stops eating and runs from the id to escape it eating her and ultimately overtaking her judgment. The superego surfaces and is immediately noticed through the expression on her face.

Concept #2: Breaking the Social Role Theory

The social role theory is the idea that men and women behave differently in social settings because of the pressures that society places on the representation of gender. Although the film exudes the concept of social role theory through a male-dominated camp with women working the kitchen, one scene shatters the differences between men and women. Discovered as a spy for the rebels, Mercedes is captured by Captain Vidal and taken to a barn to be tortured until she gives him information. He makes a statement to another soldier that he never expected this form Mercedes because she is a woman. Here she says that the only reason she got away with treason was because she is a woman, which demonstrates that Vidal's eyes were blind to Mercedes actions because of his expectations of women to be weak and dumb. Even further, she is able to escape the ties that he used on her and is triumphant in wounding Vidal with a knife and at the end of the movie; he falls dead at her feet. The role apparently change in the movie from beginning to end, starting with Mercedes being his servant to her being is Grim Reaper.

Cultural Similarity: Children Use Fantasy to Cope

Pan's Labyrinth offers incite to the cultural similarities between the United States (U.S.) and Mexico; the most powerful similarity is children using fairy tales to cope with the pressures of an adult world. In the

U.S., children are expected to deal with hard feelings such as loneliness and regret and get through experiences like divorce and financial instability just as adults do. A coping mechanism common in children in many cultures seems to be the use of imagination to develop fantasies that solve and deal with events that are all too big for them. For example, Ofelia uses a mandrake root to save her mother from a fatal pregnancy (even though it does not help, it make Ofelia feel as though she is doing something to save her mother). In fact, Ofelia develops an entire story, which drives the plot of the movie - these tasks are created in order to cope with the death of her father, her ailing mother, and villainous stepfather.
Pan's Labyrinth offers an insight into child development, gender roles and expectations, and the impulses that come from inside our minds. In summary, the movie helps adults see the flaws that everybody has and how to overcome some of society's largest obstacles.

Published August 18, 2008 by:
Summer Stewart

Pan's Labyrinth: A Psychological Analysis

pans labyrinth film youtube interview

this is a cool film interview by the guy himself

at the end he talks about the movie being around that movie is kinda about the girl being reborn, into a women

time signature 5.58

the interview questions Guillermo Del Toro about how the poster looks reproductive and the Guillermo replies by linking the link it being very about reproductive about the girl being all about reborn

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Research from web articles...

- In Classical mythology, traditional depictions of an underworld were emphatically masculine and adult space: Hades was the land of the dead, named for the Greek god who ruled over it. To journey there was a descent into hell and thus the central and climatic destination for questing heros from epic poetry. In contrast, Alice's Wonderland is emphatically matriarchal, feminized (with tea parties, croquet and poetry) and anthropomorphically lively. From the outset. Pan's Labyrinth also usurps the traditional male space of the Underworld, displaces it, and designates it a female realm: the questing hero is the runaway princess Ofelia.
- The Captain parodies the White Rabbit of Wnderland with his beloved pocket watch and his desire for order, precision and unfailing obedience.
- The visual impact of the fantasy world is Freudian in its gendering from the downward wipe through the mother's swollen belly into the fairytale landscape, the imagery is continually oragic and uterine, with warm rich colours, earthy cavernous spaces and the recurring curved feminine shapes reminiscent of the Faun's horns. This place is more a place of life and rebirth than a land of the dead.
- There's something of the myth of Tantalus in Ofelia's tale, as much as there is of Lewis Carroll's Alice and the sagas of parental absence by the Brothers Grimm, which surface in the premise of a young girl travelling, as the film opens, with her pregnant mother into the war-torn Spanish countryside during Franco's rule to join her wicked stepfather at his remote outpost.
- Likewise the director'd interest in the underground and the fecundity of it as a signifier of both potential and the repressed. (FREUDIAN CONNECTION?).
- The candlelit banquet Hall imagines the Mad Hatter's tea party as something uniquely unstrung.
- Pan's Labyrinth addresses the "sins of the father" not as a death sentence, but as an opportunity to correct what's been broken: the bridge from the Old Testament's antisocial savagery to the New Testament's covenant to honour civility in the body and suckling morality of a child.
- One need not be Freud to smell the subtext to this archetypal story.
- Ancient Pagan myths and legends.
- Alchemy/Alchemists (lethal potions, ancient books, hourglass, subterranean worlds, labyrinth, mutations, monsters, evils and secrets).
- Comparison to Terry Gilliam.
- Schindler's List combined with Wizard of Oz.