Spanish Snow White is Sumptuous Surreal Gothic
BLANCANIEVES is a gothic melodrama inspired by the Brothers´ Grimm tale. Once upon a time there was a little girl who had never met her mother, and she grew up being hated by her evil stepmother. She learned her father's art, a famous bullfighter, and one day she ran away to become a legend. Set in 1920s south of Spain, BLANCANIEVES is a tribute to silent films.
The film includes the wonderful Maribel Verdu (Y Tu Mama También, Pan's Labyrinth) as the evil stepmother, as well as striking images of bullfighting and flamenco. Obviously, the use of the black & white & silent aesthetic is going to bring comparisons to The Artist, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Perhaps this aesthetic can now go beyond the more direct homage to the Hollywood era (by being a story of Hollywood), and used to tell other stories. There is certainly an audience for these films, and an audience for fairy tales; it seems natural to combine the two. The teaser also evokes the German expressionism and more than a little Luis Buñuel, and it alone is interesting enough to get me in the theatre. It's due for release in Spanish cinemas in late September, but hopefully we might see at some festivals as well.