A screening of 'Frankenstein' profoundly reshapes the development of a six-year-old girl in Victor Erice's gorgeous allegorical fantasy set in Franco's Spain.
So I’ve loved this film for a long time but haven’t seen it in many years. There’s one aspect however that I’ve always read a certain way and now I’m doubting my own memories when I read this piece:
So I was under the impression that the version of Frankenstein that they are watching has been manually censored to get permission to show it. One of the scenes that was cut was the Monster throwing the girl into the lake - instead, the film cuts to the girl’s father carrying her drowned body and Ana is left to visualize for herself what might have happened. The dissonance between what the scene WAS (the monster picking flowers) and the sudden murder with no explanation disturbs her and fascinates her because she wasn’t given the proper context that exists in the uncensored cut of the film.
Now it sounds like maybe I’ve made this all up because Keith’s read sounds like Ana was fully aware of the monster’s confusion/accidental nature of the murder. Does anyone have thoughts on my impression and if I’m just remembering things wrong?
As you can tell by my cute little picture there, Pan's Labyrinth is one of my favorite films, and I know the Spanish 20th century in film isn't a Highlander-esque battle where THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE buuuuut come on! No way this movie is better than Pan. I understand the historical significance, but it's a pretty quiet little story. Solid film, 3 stars out of 4. But a Top 100? Come now! Everyone rewatch Pan's Labyrinth!
It’s been a couple decades since I saw this, but I’ve never forgotten it. When I was working in Philadelphia in the late ’90s/early ’00s, its repertory scene was fairly strong (and pretty much all on film) and I periodically made the trip to check out what the Chestnut Hill Film Group had to offer. One time, when I was there for CRIES AND WHISPERS, I asked the programmer if there was anything coming up that I shouldn’t miss. Without missing a beat, he insisted I prioritize THE SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE. That was a good call.
This is clearly a blind spot for me. I stopped reading in the first paragraph and skipped to see where I could find it. (Criterion wins again!) Will seek out Road to Nowhere too. Thanks!
This is a movie that I saw on TV more than fifteen years ago; it was one of the movies that I discovered because TCM aired it at like 2 am on a Saturday morning, and there was something about staying up that late to watch it that gave it a charged atmosphere. I have been in love with this movie forever but I haven't seen it in years, and this article makes me think that maybe I should show it to my wife.
BTW, another movie that I think takes a page from this is MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO. I've at least always associated the two.
What did we make of Erice’s decision to leave out the scene in Frankenstein where the blind man pours hot soup on the Monster’s lap?
As it happens, my local rep theater is showing this in 35mm next week, so I will have more thoughts after I see it then (been meaning to watch this for a while).
Checking back in now that I've seen it to note that I completely forgot that during the pandemic, Walter Chaw worked with the Denver Public Library to host a series of Zoom film talks with various special guests (my own personal favorite was John Darnielle discussing Texas Chainsaw Massacre). I didn't sign up for it at the time since I hadn't seen it but he had GDT to discuss this movie, which you can find here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oepPHBpUmPM
one of my very favorite films of all time. you put much of what i've thought about it to words in a very beautiful way. thanks for existing, Reveal.
Finally caught up with this and am so glad I did. It’s things like this that make a subscription a bargain. I could have stayed in this film for even longer. It was an ever unfolding mystery and poem. The mileage it gets from the faces of those two girls. Thank you for spotlighting these things.