Saturday, January 28, 2023     Volume: 23, Issue: 48
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
A MAN CALLED OTTO
A QUIET PLACE PART II
AMSTERDAM
ANOTHER ROUND
BARBARIAN
BINGEABLE: 100 FOOT WAVE (2021)
BINGEABLE: 1923 (2022-present)
BINGEABLE: A FRIEND OF THE FAMILY (2022)
BINGEABLE: A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN (2022)
BINGEABLE: ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL (2022)
BINGEABLE: ANDOR (2022-present)
BINGEABLE: BARRY (2018-present)
BINGEABLE: CASTLEVANIA (2017-2021)
BINGEABLE: CHEER (2020-present)
BINGEABLE: ECHO 3 (2022)
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG (2016-2019)
BINGEABLE: FLEISHMAN IS IN TROUBLE (2022)
BINGEABLE: GOSSIP GIRL (2021-present)
BINGEABLE: HACKS (2021-present)
BINGEABLE: INSIDE MAN (2022)
BINGEABLE: JOE PICKETT (2021)
BINGEABLE: KUNG FU (2021)
BINGEABLE: LAST LIGHT (2022)
BINGEABLE: LIFE & BETH (2022)
BINGEABLE: MAID (2021)
BINGEABLE: MIDNIGHT MASS (2021)
BINGEABLE: ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING (SEASON 2) (2022)
BINGEABLE: SLOW HORSES (2022)
BINGEABLE: SQUID GAME (2021)
BINGEABLE: STATION ELEVEN (2021)
BINGEABLE: SWEET TOOTH
BINGEABLE: TELL ME YOUR SECRETS (2021)
BINGEABLE: THE BEAR (2022)
BINGEABLE: THE ENGLISH (2022)
BINGEABLE: THE GREAT (2020-present)
BINGEABLE: THE WHITE LOTUS (SEASON 2) (2022)
BINGEABLE: THREE PINES (2022-present)
BINGEABLE: TULSA KING (2022-2023)
BINGEABLE: WEDNESDAY (2022)
BINGEABLE: WELCOME TO WREXHAM (2022-present)
BINGEABLE: WILLOW (2022)
BINGEABLE: YELLOWJACKETS (2021-present)
BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER
BLAST FROM THE PAST: A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (2001)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: COWBOY BEBOP (1998)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX (1999)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE PRESTIGE (2006)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE SHOOTING (1966)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: WILD AT HEART (1990)
ENOLA HOLMES 2
GLASS ONION: A KNIVES OUT MYSTERY
GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S PINOCCHIO
GUILTY PLEASURES: GUNPOWDER MILKSHAKE
GUILTY PLEASURES: JOLT
HAVE A GOOD TRIP: ADVENTURES IN PSYCHEDELICS
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM (1996)
I CARE A LOT
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
NEW FLICKS: ANTLERS
NEW FLICKS: BABYLON
NEW FLICKS: BEST SELLERS
NEW FLICKS: BULLET TRAIN
NEW FLICKS: CAUSEWAY
NEW FLICKS: CRUELLA
NEW FLICKS: DAY SHIFT
NEW FLICKS: DISENCHANTED
NEW FLICKS: FINCH
NEW FLICKS: FRESH
NEW FLICKS: GEORGE CARLIN’S AMERICAN DREAM (2022)
NEW FLICKS: HUSTLE
NEW FLICKS: I WANT YOU BACK
NEW FLICKS: KATE
NEW FLICKS: MONTANA STORY
NEW FLICKS: MY POLICEMAN
NEW FLICKS: PREY
NEW FLICKS: RED NOTICE
NEW FLICKS: SIGNIFICANT OTHER
NEW FLICKS: THE GOOD NURSE
NEW FLICKS: THE GRAY MAN
NEW FLICKS: THE NORTHMAN
NEW FLICKS: THE OUTFIT
NEW FLICKS: THIRTEEN LIVES
NEW FLICKS: WATERMAN (2021)
NINE PERFECT STRANGERS (2021)
PIG
THE BATMAN
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM (2019)
THE MAP OF TINY PERFECT THINGS
THE MENU
THE PAPER TIGERS
THE SUNLIT NIGHT
THE WHALE
THE WOMAN KING
THREE THOUSAND YEARS OF LONGING
TV REVIEW: BATES MOTEL
TV REVIEW: DEFENDING JACOB
TV REVIEW: HOMECOMING
TV REVIEW: HOW TO WITH JOHN WILSON
TV REVIEW: LENOX HILL
TV REVIEW: LITTLE AMERICA
TV REVIEW: MRS. AMERICA
TV REVIEW: ONE MISSISSIPPI
TV REVIEW: PAINTING WITH JOHN (2021)
TV REVIEW: RAMY
TV REVIEW: RUN
TV REVIEW: SPACE FORCE
TV REVIEW: TED LASSO (2020-present)
TV REVIEW: THE BOYS
TV REVIEW: THE END OF THE F***ING WORLD
TV REVIEW: THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT
TV REVIEW: THE LAST KINGDOM
TV REVIEW: THE MIDNIGHT GOSPEL
TV REVIEW: THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT
TV REVIEW: UNDONE
TV REVIEW: WARRIOR
TV REVIEW: WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS
TV REVIEW: ZEROZEROZERO
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS (2005)
UNDERRATED: ZOLA (2020)
WHITE NOISE

'Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio’ is a surreal tour de force

GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S PINOCCHIO

PHOTO BY , COURTESY OF NETFLIX ANIMATION

GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S PINOCCHIO


Where is it playing?: Netflix

What's it rated?: PG

What's it worth?: $Full price (Bulbul Rajagopal)

What's it worth?: $Full price (Caleb Wiseblood)

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

Editor’s note: New Times Staff Writer Bulbul Rajagopal and Arts Editor Caleb Wiseblood wrote Sun Screen this week while Glen and Anna Starkey went on holiday.

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio breathes new life into the children’s tale as the namesake enchanted wooden puppet travels through Italy to find the true meaning behind being a real boy.  (114 min.)

Caleb: I couldn’t quite place the voice of Geppetto in Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio in time to guess the actor before the film’s end credits rolled. Now I know why he sounded familiar. It’s David Bradley, probably—no, definitely—best known for his role as Hogwarts’ cranky caretaker Argus Filch in the Harry Potter series. Bradley’s Geppetto has got nothing on Filch in terms of curmudgeonliness, but don’t expect the kindly carpenter from past Pinocchio iterations during this unique, dark, but ultimately heartwarming reimagining from del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, The Shape of Water) and co-director Mark Gustafson, in his directorial debut. The duo’s decision to use stop-motion animation—shooting puppets with movable joints one frame at a time—works as a clever nod to the iconic story’s puppet protagonist and lends itself to the film’s most surreal and beautifully eerie sequences. Gregory Mann voices the lumber-laden lad in this version, set mostly in Italy during World War II. The film opens during World War I, however. After Geppetto’s son—also voiced by Mann—is tragically killed in the aftermath of a bombing raid, the mourning carver spends his days endlessly drinking and visiting his son’s grave near a growing pine tree, which illustrates the passing of several years as it gradually stretches closer to the sky. By the time the second Great War starts, Geppetto’s grief is far from subsided. After drinking heavily one night, he manically decides to chop down the pine tree and use its wood to fashion himself a new son to replace the one he lost. Little did he know it’d actually work.

Bulbul: I haven’t been moved by an animated film in a long time, and I’m all the richer for this touching plot. Del Toro’s iteration of Pinocchio is a wealth of philosophy, political history, religion, mortality, and elusively simple human connection. The creators of Pinocchio don’t shy away from symbolism and address the setting of fascist Italy and everything that comes with it head-on. The townsfolk don’t take kindly to the rambunctious wooden boy, especially when he’s in awe of the proceedings at Sunday mass. Later, Pinocchio pointed to the statue of Christ, carved and hung by Geppetto above the altar. “Everybody likes him,” Pinocchio said. “He’s made of wood too.” Pinocchio’s whirlwind life brings him up close to the Podesta (the fascist Italian militant), a villainous puppeteer, Benito Mussolini, and even the afterlife. His travels are set against the backdrop of Geppetto’s own journey of grieving his son, finding Pinocchio, and accepting that the two boys aren’t the same, for better or worse. Pinocchio can be enjoyed by children and adults. It’s a piece of art that’s intelligent enough to acknowledge the flaws of fatherhood, and compassionate enough to embrace them.

Caleb: There’s a lot to admire about this take on Pinocchio in both its screenplay—which touches on themes of mortality in profound, unexpected, and occasionally humorous ways—and production design. So much of the film’s imagery screams del Toro, especially the look of each character. The Wood Sprite, voiced by Tilda Swinton, who brings Pinocchio to life, reminded me more of the Faun in Pan’s Labyrinth than a traditional fairy. I loved Swinton’s dual role as Death, the Wood Sprite’s sister, who Pinocchio encounters in the afterlife sequences Bulbul alluded to. Other memorable voices in the film include those of Christoph Waltz, Ewan McGregor, Ron Perlman, and Finn Wolfhard. Waltz is so good as Count Volpe, the slimy, conniving puppet master who convinces Pinocchio to be the star of his traveling show. You’ll love to hate him. This is definitely one of the best animated films I’ve seen in a while. Feel free to observe my stagnant nose if you don’t believe me.

Bulbul: Breathing life into art is the basis of the Pinocchio story, and the making of this film is a layered homage to that idea. Netflix released a handy 30-minute behind-the-scenes segment called Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio: Handcarved Cinema, where viewers get an in-depth look into the painstaking art of stop-motion animation. “Normally, film captures reality. Animation creates it and has to simulate the capture. You give life to it, and that’s the highest art form,” del Toro explained in it. As a character, Pinocchio is new to the concept of living. Many think he’s naive and foolish. But the film shows that, perhaps, he understood relishing the ups and downs of life best, even when he has to make the ultimate sacrifice to uphold it. Pinocchio will stay with me for a long time, and I’m definitely going to rewatch it. Like any good book or movie, it’s something you can keep going back to and uncover new significance with every revisit.

New Times Staff Writer Bulbul Rajagopal and Arts Editor Caleb Wiseblood wrote Sun Screen this week. Send comments to gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.










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