Personal Response to Pan’s Labyrinth

Assessment Task

Read these critical essays on several popular films. You can find them on Infotrac.

Alleva, Richard. “War as narcotic: ‘The Hurt Locker’.” Commonweal 136.15 (2009): 24+. Gale Student Resources In Context. Web. 17 Feb. 2012.

Answer the following questions on one of these reviews:

  • Highlight the techniques the writer discuss (both film and literary)
  • How has the writer structured the work?
  • Indicate which parts are simply summary.
  • How formal is the writing? Highlight formal and or technical vocabulary.
  • Highlight personal pronouns.
  • Does the writer like the film? How do you know?
  • What aspects of the film is the writer critical of?
  • Does the writer link the film to a wider issue? What is it?

Writers use a variety of literary techniques to add depth and meaning to a story. A film director’s job is slightly different, in that he or she uses film techniques to add further depth or emphasize meaning in a story.

We have discussed a variety of literary and film techniques used in the production of Pan’s Labyrinth:

  • -setting (geographical, historical, social, etc)
  • -atmosphere
  • -genre
  • -theme
  • -suspense
  • -character (complexity, development, etc)
  • -lighting /color
  • -pace
  • -composition/frame/camera angle/focus
  • -costuming
  • -sound
  • -sound track
  • -narrative structure/point of view
  • -conflict
  • -plot (story and subplots)
  • – allusion to mythology
  • -symbolism
  • -any others….

Try watching these online lectures on literary features:

Your task is to write a response to Pan’s Labyrinth. Your response will focus upon:

A common theme in Guillermo del Toro’s films is the blending of what is real and what is imagined. 

Approach:

Your paper should address the ways in which the use of techniques affected your understanding and appreciation of the story. You may use the introduction to this task sheet (*) as your first sentence, if you like. Choose one of the following scenes upon which to focus your response:

Technical Guidelines

Your response must be formal: typed, double-spaced, 11 or 12 font. It must be between 500 and 1000 words. You must have a clear and coherent structure that suits your response approach.

  • Ofelia replacing the eye in the statue
  • The story of the rose
  • Ofelia and the toad
  • The pale man (the eyeball monster)
  • The death of Carmen (is this the mandrake?)
  • Mercedes weeps over Ofelia
  • Ofelia in the grand hall
  • Ofelia rescues her brother

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