Sunday, June 10, 2007

Pan's Labyrinth - Addendum

I had browsed the Message Board at the website for this movie last week, but am just now able to follow up with some thoughts.

As an English literature major, a film student and art enthusiast, I love to look for symbols and meanings in art. What I love most is that the artist gives forth his/her work intending one meaning, but many more can be gleaned from it.

Also, artists are not solitary creatures - they are inspired by critical elements in our world, such as history, politics, literature, mythology.

On the message board, people pointed out different symbols in this movie. I don't know how many were purposefully composed by the filmmaker and how many were brought forth by the viewers.

Alice in Wonderland:
Ofelia's new dress was reminiscent of Alice's dress in the stories. As she climbed into the tree, one expected a drop down the rabbit hole. Someone also pointed out the Faun is like the Cheshire Cat - leading in a quizzical manner and sudden (dis)appearances. I'm not too keen to agree on this one. I don't the Cheshire Cat had as much power or knowledge as the Faun does.

Greek Mythology: The Pale Man is much like the Gray Witches (the Graeae), who had one tooth and one eye between them. If you remember your "Clash of the Titans," Perseus had held the eye hostage until they told him what he needed to know.

Also, Persephone was snatched by Hades and taken to the Underworld. Part of the 'contract for her release' was that she should not have eaten anything. Unfortunately, she had eaten pomegranete seeds. So, she was able to return home for few months and then return. (It is during her duration in Hades the world falls into Winter because Demeter is in mourning for her daughter).

So, Ofelia was told not to eat anything from the Pale Man's table, but she ate some grapes, which unleashed danger.

Grimm's Tales: The Pale Man's table, laden with scrumptious food, is enticing to children as the witch's house in "Hansel and Gretel."

Spirited Away: I have only seen Miyazaki's "Spirited Away", and the opening scene where Ofelia finds an ancient mossy statue in the forest reminded me of that movie. Now, on the message board, someone explains Guillermo Del Toro is a fan of Miyazaki and this was a nod to him.

If you've seen this movie and have more insights to offer, please do!

No comments: