music friday: regina spektor
it happened again

what i watched last week

Cronos (Guillermo del Toro, 1993). I’m a fan of Guillermo del Toro ... Pan’s Labyrinth is a 10/10, Pacific Rim was a very good blockbuster ... I even like The Strain, his (and Chuck Hogan’s) comic book turned TV series. Cronos was his first feature film, and without ever seeing it, I confused it in my mind with the 1950s sci-fi B-movie, Kronos. They are nothing alike, although I wouldn’t mind seeing Kronos again some time. When you’re dealing with a distinct talent like del Toro, it’s fun to see his early work. You can spot many of the things he used in his more noted films ... I can understand why the old auteur theory critics would get excited about seeing a bit in an Howard Hawks movie that Hawks had returned to in a later and more important film. Del Toro treats fantasy rather like magic realism, although the emphasis is often on the magic more than the real. He has a feel for childhood vision ... in Cronos, a young actress named Tamara Shanath, who rarely appeared again in movies, plays a child who barely speaks, yet we know what she is thinking, and she seems to connect with the oddities in the world of the film. Ron Perlman has a major role, and he’s a bit ordinary, which in this case means he’s quite odd indeed, for why would anyone treat this world as ordinary? Plus, Perlman plays an American who barely speaks Spanish (del Toro is Mexican, and the film takes place in Mexico), so he uses his size to command attention and acts like he knows more Spanish than he lets on, but can’t be bothered to use it. All in all, a quirky movie that will be appreciated most by del Toro fans. 7/10.

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