I finished watching Pan’s Labrynth and came upstairs to check my email and found that one of you had sent me a link to Neil Gaiman’s “Snow, Glass, Apples.” That seemed like a pretty big coincidence, but you never know with stuff like that. What’s coincidence? What has actual meaning? It’s up to each interpreter I suppose.
I loved Pan’s Labyrnth and I can’t believe I waited for so long to see it. But my success with The Devil’s Backbone made me feel like taking a chance on this one. And so I did and so, as you know, it’s beautiful and amazing and everything you’ve heard. Like The Devil’s Backbone, it’s subtitled, so if you’re not a quick reader, I guess it sucks, but the thing I thought, as a non-Spanish speaker, that was so good about Pan’s Labrynth is that reading is such a critical componant to the movie that reading along while watching seems like an intrinsic element of the movie.
I keep thinking of these two and The Orphanage as a group, which may or may not be exactly fair. But the thing that strikes me about all three is how they are movies with children at their center but they are not children’s movies. Maybe I just don’t watch enough movies, but I’m struck by that. It seems to me with American movies, if children are at the center of the movie, it’s a movie for children.
I’m also struck by the way, in all these movies, that the supernatural elements might be perceived as scary, but they are never as threatening as the real world events in the movie. Anyway, I thought it was great.
And I like that Neil Gaiman story, so you should read it. I’m mulling it over, that retelling of stories we all know. I wonder how our modern ideas about copyright affect that. Are there modern characters we all feel are ours so much that we want to configure and reconfigure the elements of their narratives?
I guess we do in movies. It’s funny. The other day I was looking for that quote from Ulysseus, the whole “yes I said yes” thing that Molly says at the end of the book and the Wikipedia entry about it says that Kate Bush wanted to use it in a song, but she couldn’t get permission from the Joyce estate.
I ask you, have you ever heard anything so counter to Modernism? That there should be things off-limits to your reworking?
Anyway, I find that funny.