Yet again a black and white silent film is taking TIFF by storm. Blancanieves , the second feature film from director Pablo Berger, is a recasting of the classic Snow White in 1920’s bullfighting rings. Carmen, later renamed Blancanieves, is our fairest one, complete with a famous yet paralyzed matador father, a deceased mother, and a very wicked stepmother. When she’s forced to flee after the murder of her father, she is rescued by a troupe of bullfighting dwarves and ultimately faces down a monster bull and her own past.
Unlike last year’s The Artist , Blancanieves is less an homage to the era of silent cinema and more an apotheosis of the medium. Berger’s decision to make a silent film is not a gimmick. Rather, he is informed by an abiding passion for silent cinema, an awe for the potency of more purely visual storytelling, and mastery of the highly evolved visual syntax found in the golden era of silent films. For anyone who’s mourned the evaporation of silent filmmaking at the dawn of the talkie era, Blancanieves is a wonder.
Is Blancanieves Essential TIFF Viewing?
Yes, absolutely. Blancanieves is a stand out at this year’s festival. There are positive signs that the film will receive wider theatrical distribution and the film has just been shortlisted for Spain’s nominations at the upcoming Oscars, but you’ll want to claim bragging rights for having seen it first. If you can’t score tickets for the third and final screening, camp out in the rush line.
Blancanieves Screening Times
- Friday, September 14, 2012 at 3:00 pm at TIFF Bell Lightbox 2
More About Blancanieves
Blancanieves Production Gallery
MORE FROM TORONTO FILM SCENE