2013 / Director. Pablo Berger.
The film world isn't exactly surging with silent films. Every few years, if we're lucky, a few will come along to thrill us with their classic charm. I remember getting swept away by Rolf de Heer's DR PLONK and being moved by THE ARTIST (though, slightly underwhelming). BLANCANIEVES is a new silent film that has sent my mind into a spin. This fantastic Spanish film has adapted the classic Snow White story and placed it's setting in 1920's Spain. The lead heroine is a female bullfighter who is taken in by seven dwarf carnies. The story is obviously classic and this new setting lends it a fresh new vibrance. The use of black & white is stunning and director Pablo Berger has used every shadow and spec of light to his advantage. The camera angles are inspired and creative and when accompanied by a wonderful score it all culminates into a beautifully conceived piece of modern nostalgia. I read that Pablo Berger was riding high with confidence with his concept but flipped into a furious rage when he saw THE ARTIST midway through production. Thinking that his niche was no longer niche, he almost abandoned the film. Thankfully for us he didn't because BLANCANIEVES is twice the film THE ARTIST was. It was submitted to the Academy Awards but didn't make the grade. Ha. What a shame. Its exquisite. My only criticism is that 100 minutes is to long for a silent film and it would have been even stronger with a leaner running time. If you're needing some classic romanticism in your life then BLANCANIEVES will deliver something beautiful and different. People with short and restless attention spans might bulk at it, but the rest of us will relish it.