The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Friday, February 02, 2007

Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

Wow. I just saw the best fantasy film I've seen since "Return of the King." This tale, from director Guillermo del Toro, is the story of a young girl who vanishes into a fantasy world to escape the horrors of war. It is filled with some of the most heartbreakingly beautiful imagery in cinematic history, and is impeccably cast and directed. The CGI effects and makeup are wonderful. Be warned: it has moments of genuine brutality and startling violence, and is NOT for children. This is a fairy tale for adults, in the best and darkest sense of the words. An A+
And by the way...someone said that I might be surprised at the amount of variance within sub-Saharan Africans. I doubt it. Like I said--there's more variance there than within either of the other major racial groups. I'm perfectly aware of that. My only point is that since "blacks" are lumped together, as are "Asians," it is a logical inconsistency to separate out a single group from the "White" category. If you're going to separate out "Jews" of any kind, you then have the obligation to differentiate between different groups of Asians and blacks. If you don't , you may be obscuring some freaky little group at the edge of the Sahara with a phenomenal average IQ--after all, Africans have the shortest and tallest people. It wouldn't be too surprising if they had the greatest IQ spread as well. But if you lump them together, (as is most reasonable given the lack of data) you have the obligation to do the same with the other groups.
And since there really is no agreed upon scientific definition of "race" other than "human race" I tend to go with the Big Three as "primary colors" of humanity. You can blend these to make anything else on the planet, but you can't blend, say, Asians and Blacks to make White people. On a sociological level, it seems that this is the way people REACT to race, that's for certain. Another factor, playing to my observations about race and sex is: whoever white people don't mind watching in bed with their women, they consider "white." In other words, Desi Arnaz could be married to Lucy. William Shatner got much nookie on Star Trek, no issue. Omar Shariff was considered a matinee idol. No problem. So--Latinos, Jews and Arabs are reacted to emotionally as "white." (as long as they are light skinned), But Asians or blacks, forget it. A curious case is East Indians, who seem to be reacted to sort of as "dark skinned white people" based on the reactions of movie audiences I've been in. But that's way unscientific, and I haven't seen more than a half-dozen East Indian/White woman love scenes total to compare to the dozens of times I've watched and listened to audiences squirm to black/white or Asian/white scenes. I might be wrong.

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