Now that “The Artist” demonstrated that audiences could not only sit still for a silent movie, but could also entertain and win Oscars, getting another silent film funded, shot and distributed got that much easier. And by “that much,” I mean better than zero percent. Fortunately, the Spanish feature “Blancanieves” makes for a worthy addition to this sub-genre of retrofilm, in some ways a response to the death of celluloid and the dominance of the digital image. In several shots in Pablo Berger’s film, there was a hair in the gate, down in the left hand corner, a shocking reminder that this feature is indeed shot of the preferred medium of the 20th century.
The story, however, is straight out of the Brothers Grimm, as it is a Seville-based retelling of “Snow White,” with nods to Disney’s classic retelling. But it is also modern, feminist, and decidedly Spanish tale.