Monday, February 21, 2011

Guillermo Del Toro's Pinnochio

I wasn't overly taken by 'Labyrinth', the last Del Toro movie I saw. I had an, um, discussion at length with Spike about that movie. He thought it was an instant classic. I thought it was pretty, in its creepy way, but that it lacked the mythic quality and internal consistency required to embed itself in the collective unconscious. In other words, it was shallow and made-up. The plot attempted to be one of the seven (Ch 3: The Journey - The Quest), but didn't quite cut the mustard as those tasks in a truly good quest would be relevant to the next task at least, and properly to the eventual outcome.

He, correctly, thought I was a deluded artistically jejune idiot who would call black white just to enjoy a heated argument, the more pointless the better. He didn't actually SAY that, but I am certain he thought it.

It's not like I have a thing against Del Toro, because I really enjoyed the Hellboy series.


And recently, I mentioned somewhere here that had I enjoyed a very dark, twisted and funny (if you could keep up) novel about the eventual demise of the elderly anthropomorphic Pinnochio. It was Robert Coover's iconoclastic (and aren't all his books) 'Pinnochio In Venice'.

I had only have vague recollections of Walt's Pinocchio movie from 1940 (no, kiddies, I hadn't been born yet, haha), and that in snippets on Sunday evenings as kids, watching Disneyland after we came home from church (Mum! Don't talk to Fr Rafter, Disneyland is on soon! And we have to get fish and chips first, and then we can sing along with "When You Wish Upon A Cricket"). Really, most of my knowledge comes more from my seven year old self's understanding of a cartoon book of the movie of the book, rather than the TV show. No wonder Coover's novel was such a head spinner for me.

According to whatever movie-site I blurfed onto somehow (Ah looking for stuff while chatting with a chess opponent about the book Bobby Fischer Goes to War and found they were making it into a movie as well!), as I said, according to this site, Del Toro is now taking on the truly classic (Ch 7. Rebirth ) original tale of Pinocchio. He is making this as a stop motion animation and will be sticking much closer to Collodi's original plot, and with a somewhat exponentially darker vision than Disney's. So, from the other shots shown at the linked site, I anticipate this as being one of the few upcoming remakes that might actually be worth watching*. Accurate - not whale, dogfish, etc... As the original novel (a bigger book than I thought) is on my shelf unread - and I wish I had it here now to read in Bangkok - I can't comment too much yet, but I wonder if the baroque style of Coover's book has been an influence on Del Toro. Which is to say, I wonder if has read it.

Pinocchio In Venice

Pinnochio in Del Toro


And why are the only seven plots? Because we like to hear the same stories again and again. Just ask No1 son about The Diggingest Dog.


* (Ryan Gosling in 'Logan's Run'? What are the thinking? 'Tron II' or whatever it was, complete disaster. 'TGWTDG' - Fincher, drop it!)


Dick Headley said...

Did somebody sat deluded artistically jejune idiot? I happen to be reading Public Enemies. You might like it. It's an exchange of correspondence between Bernard-Henri Levy and Michel Houellebecq. Two French bigheads talking about their favourite subject...themselves.

expat@large said...

Dick: it's always been on my list of ways to completely waste my time before I die. Had enough of Houellebecq. Mind you I always recommend the massage scene in Island (was it?) to people who want to know in detail how a soapie is done properly.

Dick Headley said...

Don't apologize. Houllebecq has had enough of himself. Strange makes the book kinda interesting but I suspect it was heavily edited.

Spike said...

Yeah, I know, I gotta comment because you linked to me in the post. Don't worry, I ain't gonna re-start the argument over the movie.

But while I'm at it, in your blog roll, all way down at the bottom, after one clicks "show all", if you feel like it, you could delete the links to Hongkietown (previous blogspot version) and Spike in HK and maybe consider adding a link to

expat@large said...

Hey dude! LOL re: our 'discussion'.

Shall link to the new stuff. Obviously, until very recently I have been neglecting the blog...

Not sure if I'll be in HK for the R7s.

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