Thursday, May 16, 2013

96% Blancanieves

All Critics (48) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (45) | Rotten (2)

Most films are experiences to be ignored or at best forgotten. "Blancanieves" is a little classic to be treasured.

It is a full-bodied silent film of the sort that might have been made by the greatest directors of the 1920s, if such details as the kinky sadomasochism of this film's evil stepmother could have been slipped past the censors.

Blancanieves, which won 10 Goyas (Spain's equivalent of the Oscars) and was a smash hit in its native Spain, has traces of a kinky undertone and an uncommon willingness to embrace the darkness inherent in this fairy tale.

As if bewitched, the legend of Snow White is transferred to Seville in the early twentieth century and transformed into high melodrama.

Sensuous, mischievous, hotblooded retelling of the old Teutonic fairy tale.

This gorgeous silent film is an unexpected gift from the gods of pure cinema.

The story might be familiar, but Berger's film is so beautifully shot and so wonderfully scored - and so distinctively Spanish - that it stands as its own film.

Blancanieves holds to the structure, but not strictures, of the source fairy tale.

A new, purely silent movie from Spain that never once speaks and doesn't need to speak. What's more, it seems to get the infinite possibilities of silence, and how much passion can come from it.

Berger's film doesn't show loyalty to any traditional version of Snow White. Berger's Blancanieves takes a darker approach, which seems appropriate.

A completely enchanting fairy tale about the vicissitudes of fate, in live action and glorious black and white.

The fun in the Spanish "Blancanieves" is the way it plays with our expectations.

May not have much depth to its characters or particular surprise, but its lovely depiction of family's ability to harm and mend has the flair of flamenco and the sorrow of opera.

No, "Blancanieves" isn't subtle, but it's an unforgettable time at the movies.

Inspired filmmaking steeped in the imagery of silent film history, a dark Iberian strain of Roman Catholicism and the magic of fairy tales.

... lusty and heartfelt, fiery flamenco and spirited country jig. Don't go expecting a Disney-fied fable. Berger seasons with S&M and the kind of macabre touches you'd expect in vintage Browning or Bunuel.

If not for some faintly disturbing imagery and a pleasingly feminist heroine, you could mistake this for a movie actually made in the 1920s (and even those two factors weren't utterly unknown then).

A loving tribute to European silent films of the 1920s; a reminder that cinema need not be constrained by words.

By the time the film arrives at its grand theatrical finale, you're almost prepared for Berger's last great twist. Almost.

this beautifully shot and imaginatively told fairy tale should be seen my many, but only a few will likely get to enjoy it. This is a shame for the audience it is intended for.

This film is simply gorgeous, pure beauty on film, a vision that leaves you breathless and reeling.

Much of the film's emotion is conveyed by Alfonso de Vilallonga's music, which celebrates Spain with uptempo guitar and flamenco when it isn't tipping its hat to Bernard Herrmann during a scene inspired by Hitchcock.

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