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.

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