7:30 PM, 21st May, 2014
** NOTE: THIS SCREENING HAS BEEN POSTPONED FROM ITS ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED DATE **
This is a retelling of the Brothers Grimm fairytale “Snow White”; albeit set in 1920s Spain, as a silent-era movie and in black and white. It’s actually a very clever set up for this fairytale world with the new telling taking on a life and a momentum of its own. Blancanieves centres around Carmen and her attempt to reclaim a childhood stolen from her by the villainous and diabolical Encarna.
Antonio (Cacho) is Spain’s most successful bullfighter but one day is caught and gored by a bull and must retire. His wife dies in childbirth and in remorse he sends his newborn child, Carmen, to live with her grandmother. Antonio marries his nurse, Encarna (played incredibly evilly by Verdú), who takes in Carmen after her grandmother’s death but mistreats her terribly, forcing her to work hard all day and sleep in a dank room at night. When one day Carmen chases after her pet chicken into a forbidden area of the mansion she comes across her father, chairbound in an upstairs room. They reconnect and he teaches her about bullfighting, but when Encarna hears of this, she puts a dark plan in motion.
This ‘children’s tale’ is certainly dark and atmospheric at times, but in contrast the narrative is followed through from an almost childlike perspective and succeeds in creating wonderfully haunting visuals. The only sound present is a flamenco-infused score and there are few title cards used, yet you are drawn in like a bull to a cape.