Monday, January 15, 2007

An Afternoon at the Bijou: Pan's Labyrinth

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Perhaps the gods wouldn't be so bored if they went to the movies more often. But alas, some of the bored gods get so little praise and worship they can't even afford the 10:00 a.m. senior citizen budget schedule!

We at "The Gods Are Bored" live by a few simple rules:
1. Never stain the furniture.
2. Never forget to feed the goats.
3. Never attend an R-rated movie that lists "violence" as one of the reasons for its rating.

You know what? That rules out a hell of a lot of movies. We at "The Gods Are Bored" have never seen any of the following:
Apocalypse Now
Schindler's List
Saving Private Ryan
The Passion of the Christ
Silence of the Lambs
The Exorcist
Pulp Fiction

On and on and on. You see, we at "The Gods Are Bored" are squeamish. We most certainly don't set out the fatted calf for Mars, or any of those manly War Gods.

So it was with great trepidation that we broke our standing rule on R-ratings to go see Pan's Labyrinth. We felt that, as the subject matter contained faeries, we needed to go. So, on Sunday, Anne and her daughter The Heir (a fully-fledged 17-year-old) went to see Pan's Labyrinth.

The Heir absolutely loved it. She frothed at the mouth. And The Heir knows her movies. She's a film buff of the first stripe. When she heard that the writer/director of Pan's Labyrinth turned down the gazillion dollars offered to him to direct Chronicles of Narnia in order to make Pan's Labyrinth instead, she praised the director to the skies for having such high artistic and moralistic standards.

I agree that Pan's Labyrinth is a brilliant movie, the best I've seen this year. However, it did remind me that when the rating is "R," and that rating has been gleaned for "violence, torture," and you're a squeamish little earthworm, you'd best pass.

I even read a "spoiler" plot description on Wikipedia. And, par usual, Wicked-pedia got it wrong, but close enough that I knew when to dash from the theatre. Still, the entire subject matter of this film, and its view that children (especially female children) have no port in the storm -- even in other dimensions -- was unsettlingly close to my own childhood.

So, yes. This is a four-star film. But don't round up the kiddies from the playground and take them to this fairy tale. And while you're at it, don't take your personal faeries either. I can't tell you how glad I was that I left Puck and Princess behind. After I told them what happened in the flick, they gave my husband back his Rolex watch, missing since October. I am not even kidding.

Oh, and just so you'll know. My aversion to R-rated movies does not extend to those with torrid sex scenes, drug use, or potty language. Bring 'em on!


Anonymous said...

Thank you Squeamish,
I have been laughed at and thought silly for my aversion to R rated violence films also. Strangely enough the scifi films rated R don't bother me - they're not real. The reality in A.N. Pulp Fiction, Silence of the Lambs, Kill Bill et., all too real - it happens. Don't want to see it, or hear it.
Drugs, sex(naked and consenting), foul language... no problem watching at all.

Rosie said...

It always weirds me out that our ratings system seems to think nudity and sexual content trumps body counts and violence. I just don't get it. Aren't those priorities a little whacked?

I have seen all those movies with the exception of the Passion of the Christ. I don't know if it was the violence + religion slant or the zealotry that was such a huge part of the marketing campaign. It slap creeped me out.

I do like Tarantino films. There is something very stylized to his violence that I like. I'd love to see this film but will have to wait until it hits Netflix.

Ain't no way some heathen movie is going to hit the Newport, TN cineplex.

Angela-Eloise said...

I can't wait to see this movie! It finally hit Boston so I want to go soon before I read too much about it and it spoils it for me. Don't worry, Anne, you haven't spoiled anything! :)

BBC said...

I like romantic comedies,and I don't mind if there is some cussing in them. But I do like the sex to be clean.

Shoot, I can cuss like a trouper.

Hecate said...

I'm glad that you liked it. I just closed my eyes for a few scenes, and since it was in Spanish, I couldn't even tell what they were saying in those scenes. I haven't seen any of the movies in your list of no-sees, either. Life's too short to spend any of it deliberately subjecting yourself to meanness and cruelty.

Mary Jones said...

I can be pretty squeemish, though that hasn't stopped me from seeing most movies (PotC, though held no interest for me). I did close my eyes several times during Pan's Labyrinth.

I thought it was a brilliant movie, but for me it was too emotionally harrowing. I don't know that I can watch it again, though I would recommend it to almost anyone.