Imagine you’re Pablo Berger, a visionary kind of filmmaker toiling on a high concept film the likes of which hasn’t been seen in half a century. You plan to pay homage to the great silent movies, particularly of France, with evocative 1920’s styling, black and white film stock and inter-titles to help drive the narrative. There will be heroes and fans. There will be tragedy. There will be dancing. And imagine then, you are Pablo Berger, when you’re already half way down the road to this reimagined cinema, that the movie The Artist launches suddenly at the Cannes Film Festival……


Blancanieves is a startling film that uses an entirely familiar nursery tale – Snow White – to turn the conventions of storytelling on its head. Snow White is a Bullfighter. So are the dwarves. Prince Charming is a dwarf too. And – manipulated, bullied and swindled by just about everyone – the poor girl just never catches a break. Seriously; this is not a happy film. But applause where applause is due: the cinematography is jaw-dropping – not in a widescreen, 3D Disney-esque way, but via the harsh Andalucian sunlight over low tiled Sevilliano roofs. The pre-Franco styling and costumery is rich enough to reach out and touch, and the whirling, dramatic flamenco sound track is marvellous too. And at the end of it, you’ll marvel that you didn’t hear a word spoken throughout the entire thing. So: not an easy watch, but a worthwhile one.

Martin Cuff Filming Locations, Movie Reviews