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Look out for more coverage of
Pan’s Labyrinth (El Laberinto del Fauno) in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Pan’s Labyrinth (El Laberinto del Fauno)

THE STARS:
Sergi Lopez • Ivana Baquero • Maribel Verdu
• Doug Jones • Ariadna Gil
DIRECTOR: Guillermo Del Toro

Director Guillermo Del Toro and the fawn THE CONCEPT:
Gothic fairy tale set against the postwar repression of Franco’s Spain. Seen through the eyes of 11 year-old Ofelia (Baquero), who is transported along with her mother Carmen (Gil) to a military outpost run by Ofelia’s step-father, Captain Vidal (Lopez) where, in a place of unfathomable cruelty, Ofelia lives out her own dark fable, as she confronts monsters, both otherworldly and human.

U.S. RELEASE: December 29 2006, Nationwide
• Rated: R

THE COMMENTS:

GUILLERMO DEL TORO:
“In the time of spiritual formation, for me, both fairy tales and the Bible had the exact same weight. I was as enthralled by a parable in the Bible about the grain of mustard seed, as I could be about three brothers on their quest to marry a princess, and I found equal spiritual illumination in both. There are fairy tales that are created to instill fear in children, and there are fairly tales that are created to instill hope and magic in children. I like those.”

SERGI LOPEZ:
“This is the most evil character I’ve ever played in my career. It is impossible to improve upon it; the character is so solid and so well writing. Vidal is deranged, a psychopath who is impossible to defend. Even though his father’s personality marked his existence, and is certainly one of the reasons for his mental disorder, that cannot be an excuse. It would seem to me very cynical to use that to justify or explain his cruel and cowardly acts. I think it is great that the film does not consider any justification of fascism. But it was easy to do because Guillermo Del Toro gave me a lot of direction and guidance. I had to lose weight, 14 kilos, I took up horse riding and also military training; when the role is very well written it’s very easy to find him and do it.”

IVANA BAQUERO:
“Sergi was totally hilarious. He has nothing to do with the real Vidal. Every time we did a sequence, we’d have to get into our characters and be serious, like I’d be crying and he’d be preparing to fake slapping me, and five minutes later we’d break out laughing and start joking around. He’s really a nice person and, as well as Guillermo, he taught me a lot during the filming.”

DOUG JONES (who plays Pan, the faun, and the Pale Man):
“I’m always happy to be the guy in the costume, I’m happy to have a job, but I’m really happy to be working for Guillermo any time. I just adore him. When he wanted me to do both characters, I thought, ‘Oh right, you cheap ass!’ But after seeing the film and seeing how it all came together, I can see, ‘Okay, if Pan is creating these tests for Ofelia to pass to claim her birthright [as a princess] could the Pale Man not be a creation of Pan?’ Anything is possible in this world that he’s from, and that made sense.”

DEL TORO:
“The labyrinth is a very powerful sign. The main thing for me is that unlike a maze, a labyrinth is actually a constant transit of finding, not getting lost. That was very important to me. A maze is full of dead ends, and a labyrinth may have the illusion of having a dead end, but it always continues. It is the transit of the girl towards her own inside reality.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Pan’s Labyrinth (El Laberinto del Fauno) site
Images above © Picturehouse
Feature © 2006 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #679, February 2007 cover

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