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"Pan's Labyrinth"


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#1 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 03:51 AM

I really loved this film. And what was also impressive was that there were lines around the block to see a foreign film for once! I'm glad the film got an applause at the end from the audience, it really is a great story from a very imaginative director.

Guillermo Navarro, the DP, I think doesn't get enough attention. I've been a big fan of his ever since he shot "Desperado". All his other collaborations with Guillermo Del Toro are sites to see as well.

In "Pan's Labyrinth" I loved his use of cyan for a lot of the night scenes. There was quite a bit of day for night too that I think most people didn't notice because it was so convincing.

I highly recommend this film though. It's a dark fairytale...emphasis on DARK (both in lighting & storyline)
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#2 James McBee

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 05:11 PM

I really loved this film. And what was also impressive was that there were lines around the block to see a foreign film for once! I'm glad the film got an applause at the end from the audience, it really is a great story from a very imaginative director.

Guillermo Navarro, the DP, I think doesn't get enough attention. I've been a big fan of his ever since he shot "Desperado". All his other collaborations with Guillermo Del Toro are sites to see as well.

In "Pan's Labyrinth" I loved his use of cyan for a lot of the night scenes. There was quite a bit of day for night too that I think most people didn't notice because it was so convincing.

I highly recommend this film though. It's a dark fairytale...emphasis on DARK (both in lighting & storyline)


Very excited to see this. It hasn't been released here in DC yet, but when it is I'll be there. From the preview it looks like just the kind of thing that, in my opinion, is lacking in Hollywood.

Two of the biggest complaints I hear about the movie industry are 1) that adaptations aren?t faithful enough, and 2) that what is needed is more realism. I couldn?t disagree more strongly with either.

As to the first, while I would love to see more original screenplays being produced, as long as they are going to continue adapting novels, I would rather that the filmmakers had the freedom to follow their instincts. After all what is the point in making a film that is the same as the book? If it was a good book, the film has no chance of improving on it, and the work will almost invariably seem constrained. That?s why Hitchcock always chose pulp novels to adapt. That way he could take what he liked from a story and abandon the rest without feeling that he was doing anyone a disservice. When asked if he would be interested in directing ?Crime and Punishment? he said that he would not, because it will always be Dostoyevsky?s masterpiece, and would never be truly his. So for Pete?s sake, let filmmakers be filmmakers, and don?t expect servile adaptations.

When it comes to the second peeve (and this is what I think relates to ?Pan?s Labyrinth? in this little rant) I think there is too much realism in Hollywood films. I mean, I understand that what people are usually referring to when they talk about this is the glut of escapist films, but by couching their criticism in the language that they do I think they are encouraging Hollywood?when it comes to their serious (or ?prestige?) pictures?to focus on movies that are largely devoid of imagination. I think a fairy tale for adults is a brilliant idea (in fact it?s one that I?m exploring in my own writing), but I think it?s the kind of thing that is normally rejected out of hand when it comes to American films. What I think we really want are real characters, even if they are revealed and unraveled for us through a fantastical situation. Certainly Shakespeare never hesitated to use supernatural elements, in the middle of very serious dramas, because in those days people recognized that things that are imaginary can still be very revealing when it comes to the human condition.

So anyway, while I haven?t yet seen the film, and thus cannot say whether I will like it, I salute Del Toro for having the courage to do something different.

Oh and sorry for the long winded pontifications. I hope I didn?t highjack the thread. I just got very excited when I read about this film and saw the preview.
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#3 Jason Debus

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 12:18 PM

There's a great article featured in the new AC on Pan's Labyrinth. It goes into a lot of detail about how they conceptualized the film including color palettes and textures including the day for night sequences. I'm sure they'll have the article online soon.

Pan's Labyrinth showed the Guillermo Del Toro that I like, the one that made Devil's Backbone. Real creepy and supernatural without the trappings of typical horror or fantasy. The whole look of the film was saturated and contrasty which I love.

Here's the technical specs from the article in AC:

1.85:1
Moviecam Compact; Arri 435ES
Zeiss Master Primes, Variable Primes
Kodak Vision2 200T 5217, 500T 5218; Vision 250D 5246
Digital Intermediate
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#4 James McBee

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 12:12 PM

There's a great article featured in the new AC on Pan's Labyrinth. It goes into a lot of detail about how they conceptualized the film including color palettes and textures including the day for night sequences. I'm sure they'll have the article online soon.

Pan's Labyrinth showed the Guillermo Del Toro that I like, the one that made Devil's Backbone. Real creepy and supernatural without the trappings of typical horror or fantasy. The whole look of the film was saturated and contrasty which I love.

Here's the technical specs from the article in AC:

1.85:1
Moviecam Compact; Arri 435ES
Zeiss Master Primes, Variable Primes
Kodak Vision2 200T 5217, 500T 5218; Vision 250D 5246
Digital Intermediate


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#5 James McBee

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 12:37 PM

I attended a screening of ?Pan?s Labyrinth,? last night. All I can say is that it lived up to my expectations, and then surpassed them. It really was the kind of movie I?ve been waiting to see for some time. I don?t know who decided that children?s movies and infantile action flicks should have a monopoly on the fantastical, but Del Toro has broken that unwritten rule, and done so to great effect.

My one criticism would be the CGI. Some things (especially the faun) did look a little plastic even though he chose wisely to keep the lighting low key so as to mask them a bit. What I would have liked to see was more use of puppets and models in conjunction with the animation. While I wasn?t the unabashed admirer of ?Lord of the Rings,? that many were, I thought that?in the first two installments at least?they handled the more unreal elements brilliantly, by mixing models, puppets, and actual sets, with what they can do on the computer. Of course Peter Jackson seems to have since thrown all that aside.

But that aside ?Pan?s Labyrinth,? is definitely among my favorite movies of that last few years.
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#6 Jason Debus

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 01:44 PM

My one criticism would be the CGI. Some things (especially the faun) did look a little plastic even though he chose wisely to keep the lighting low key so as to mask them a bit. What I would have liked to see was more use of puppets and models in conjunction with the animation.

The faun was real makeup except for the bottom portions of the legs.

Posted Image

I'm curious, what made you think he was all CG, was it just the texture of the skin? Also I don't think the lighting was dark to mask anything, the sets and makeup were top notch.
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 02:13 PM

The faun was real makeup except for the bottom portions of the legs.

Posted Image

I'm curious, what made you think he was all CG, was it just the texture of the skin? Also I don't think the lighting was dark to mask anything, the sets and makeup were top notch.


I was about to say that the faun didn't look like CGI to me, but like a creature make-up effect. So I was thinking that "this must be really good CGI" or that it was done mostly in-camera (with CGI enhancements of course.)
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#8 James McBee

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 03:05 PM

The faun was real makeup except for the bottom portions of the legs.

Posted Image

I'm curious, what made you think he was all CG, was it just the texture of the skin? Also I don't think the lighting was dark to mask anything, the sets and makeup were top notch.



Wow. I stand corrected. And yes, it was really just the texture of it that made me think that. Also maybe the eyes. I really am very suprised though.

And I would also clarify my point about masking. I didn't mean it in a negative sense. Most truly effective techniques have both a practical and a thematic motivation. I think anything that is as unreal to most people as a faun would look and seem more implausible in bright harsh light. So I think the dim bluish quality served that function, but was also appropriate to the story.
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#9 Chris Durham

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 09:37 AM

Pan's Labyrinth finally opened in Dallas last night. My only gripe is that it opened at the Magnolia and not the Angelika, who are much better at managing a crowd. The place was packed and there was a line around the corner for the next showing.

First off, bravo for making a dark fantasy movie that isn't just a flick targeted at kids that adults also "get." (i.e. Tim Burton flicks) A buddy who saw it over the holidays in California told me it was pretty gory, but didn't set me up for how truly dark it was. I really dug it.

The faun was amazing I thought - totally believable. Good to see magic that isn't cheesey. I read the article in AC before seeing it and I've got to say their articles usually give me a deeper appreciation for a movie; but in this case I don't think it really did the film justice. (Nothing against AC there, just the movie's much better than they set me up to expect). Anyhow, great movie.
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#10 Mariano Nante

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 06:25 PM

Overall, I liked the film. The problem was that my expectations were too high, so I wasn't so thrilled about it.

I also thought the faun was CGI, but mainly because I clearly noticed the difference between the creature's lip movement and the audio. This was due to the fact that the actor is american and didn't speak spanish. Nevertheless, I thought it was some great looking CGI... kinda dissapointed that it's not. :lol:

I liked Navarro's cinematography, but there were some things that I didn't like. First, I thought those days for night were extremely noticeable. Second, I didn't care for the color treatment... sometimes I felt like: "ok, this scene is blue". I thought this ruined the wonderful work put on the production design. But other than that, I was very pleased with the look.
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#11 Charles M. Scharfman

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 12:23 PM

I really liked this film. In fact, it was my favorite film of the year, beating out "Children of Men," and "The Queen,"

Guillermo Navarro ASC, did an extraordinary job with this.

I had assumed the Faun was CGI. I know the mouth wasn't though, Doug Jones, the actor who played the Faun and the Pale Man, has said that he operated the lower portion of the face while puppeteer manipulated the top. The lower body was.

I really like the low key lighting. I'm generally a big fan of it, frankly.

Effects are where Del Toro's roots are in cinema, and I've read an article stating that he designed how each effect was going to be executed.

On another note, I saw an interview with Charlie Rose (the other interviewees were the other "Big Mexicans," Cuaron and Inarritu.) Anyway, Del Toro admitted that he doesn't " even know how to use a light meter." He said he just looks at the monitor, and asks his DP if the appropriate areas are dark, what's the brightest spot in the frame, etc.

What do you guys think about this? I was frankly shocked.
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#12 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 01:57 PM

I don't think it's important that the director knows how to use an exposure meter. Their job is to have a vision of the story that they're trying to tell and trying to achieve that vision with their collaborators. However, I'd be concerned if the DP didn't know how to use a meter when shooting film. Although, I seem to recall that towards the end of his career Douglas Slocombe didn't use one.

Loved ?Pan?s Labyrinth?.
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#13 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 03:27 PM

I saw this at the weekend and loved it.

With Children of Men its become one of my two favourite films of the year.

After so many 'intelligent' yet kinda bland films it was great to see a film that was brash, awe inspiring, moving but also layered with symbolism.

The repetition of familier shapes, was very interesting, but I need to watch it again to appreciate that fully.


Yes it was violent and explicit, and I tend to hate violent movies, but it was worth grinning and bearing it, infact I was sitting at the back (the cinema was full) and could see the audience squirming infront at me at those moments, i also saw them moved to tears by the end.
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