That’s the English translation of Guillermo del Toro, the Mexican film director associated with the recent Academy Award winning film El laberinto del fauno (Pan's Labyrinth). He has directed a wide variety of films, from comic book adaptations to historical fantasy and horror films, two of which are set in Spain during or in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War under the Fascist dictatorship of Francisco Franco. These two films, El espinazo del diablo (The Devil's Backbone) and El laberinto del fauno (Pan's Labyrinth), are among del Toro’s best. They also share similar settings, protagonists (young children), and themes (including the relationship between fantasy/horror and the struggle to live under Fascist rule).
Del Toro's work frequently includes monsters. He has
sort of a fetish for insects, clockwork, monsters, dark places, unborn things. That certainly is true for his film Cronos, which I watched on DVD this past weekend. I found it entertaining and scary. The movie dialog is a mix of mainly Spanish and some English. I had castellano subtitles displayed and it was interesting to see what was changed from Mexican Spanish.
I have yet to see El laberinto del fauno. When I checked Fnac (think Best Buy), it was one of the most expensive single movie DVDs available, almost as much as the Blu-ray HD discs. I guess I’ll have to wait a few more months before the price drops.
Earlier last week I watched the Spanish-language version of Dracula. In the early days of sound, it was common for Hollywood to produce Spanish-language versions using the same sets and costumes. Unfortunately, many of these versions no longer exist. The Spanish version of Dracula is an exception. Outside the US the Spanish version of Dracula achieved greater acclaim. This Spanish-language version runs nearly a half-hour longer than the English-language version even though the script is the same. The actors speak m-u-y d-e-s-p-a-c-i-o. And the Spanish is a mixture of dialects since the cast came from Mexico, Spain, Central and South America.
Nowadays virtually all films are dubbed and the versions here in Spain are different than in Iberoamerica. Often the same person will dub for the same actor(s) in various films. I prefer to watch the film in versión original and turn on subtitles. I am fortunate that several channels here will broadcast the versión original on an alternate audio program. TV3 offers four audio programs on TDT, including AC-3.