Myth(s) & Magic in Pan’s Labyrinth (Part II)

Myth Reading Group

Thursday 9 November

12.00-1.30pm in Room 3.411

We are very pleased to announce that Eirini Apanomeritaki will do a follow-up session of “Pan’s Labyrinth”

Pan's labyrinth

Pan’s Labyrinth poster [El laberinto del fauno, dir. Guillermo del Toro], 2006

In this session, we will have the opportunity to complete our discussion of myths and magic features used in the film.

Set in 1944, five years after the end of the Spanish Civil War, the story of Ofelia and her encounter with a faun continuously straddles the boundaries between magic and reality. Ofelia moves with her mother close to a seemingly enchanted forest where they join her stepfather, Captain Vidal, one of Franco’s officers. The real and the fantastic blend in the movie as Ofelia experiences the horrors of the regime while the faun asks her to carry out a series of tasks that will restore her place as princess Moanna, according to the legend. Ofelia’s tasks, her underground journey to the labyrinth, and the monstrous creatures of the unworldly, mystical realm draw their inspiration from fairy tales and hero quests as much as from classical myths and their imagery (as in Francisco Goya’s Saturn Devouring His Son).

Selected clips from the movie will be shown in the session. See a review of the film by A.O.Scott, “In Gloom of War, a Child’s Paradise”, 29 December 2009, The New York Times, and María Teresa DePaoli’s chapter as additional reading (“Fantasy and Myth in Pan’s Labyrinth: Analysis of Guillermo del Toro´s Symbolic Imagery”, in Scott E. Hendrix and Timothy J. Shannon eds., Magic and the Supernatural. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2012, pp. 49-54).


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