Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Interrogating the ‘Real’: The Circular Construction of Race and Remediation in Pablo Berger’s Blancanieves/Snow White (2012)

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (2017), 94, (3), 315–336.

Abstract

Pablo Berger’s Blancanieves/Snow White (2012) retells the Brothers Grimm’s fairytale, infused with references to Carmen, in the form of a black and white silent film set in 1920s Spain. Berger’s project revives another time and place. In the digital age, it participates in the resurrection of early cinematic practices by filmmakers in and out of Hollywood. In Spain, it joins cultural production grappling with historical memory and identity. This essay analyses the circular construction of race and remediation in the film, arguing that it raises questions concerning reality and encourages transgenerational dialogue about a difficult past as an essential part of dealing with present and future cultural conflicts.

La película Blancanieves/Snow White (2012), ambientada en la España de los 1920, vuelve a contar el cuento de hadas de los Hermanos Grimm, con referencias a Carmen, en la forma del cine mudo en blanco y negro. El proyecto de Berger recupera otro tiempo y lugar. En la edad digital, la película participa en la resurrección de las prácticas cinematográficas tempranas por cineastas dentro y fuera de Hollywood. En España, se une a la producción cultural que lucha con la identidad y la memoria. Este ensayo analiza la construcción circular de la raza y la remediación en la película, argumentando que la película cuestiona la realidad y estimula el diálogo transgeneracional sobre un pasado difícil como una parte esencial de enfrentar conflictos culturales del presente y el futuro.

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Matheou, Demetrios, 2013. ‘Pablo Berger: “A movie’s like a paella, you put all of your obsessions in there”’, The Guardian, 11 July. Available at: >http://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/jul/11/silent-film-blancanieves-pablo-berger-interview> [accessed 9 January 2017]. Google Scholar

Mérimée, Prosper, 1846 [1845]. Carmen (Paris: Michel Levy). Carmen Google Scholar

Morgenstern, Joe, 2013. ‘”Pines”: Strong Roots, Spindly Growth’, Wall Street Journal (Online), 28 March. Available at: >https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324685104578388324175793556> [accessed 23 February 2017]. Google Scholar

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Powrie P., B. Babington, A. Davies and C. Perriam (2007). Carmen on Film: A Cultural History (Bloomington: Indiana University Press). Carmen on Film: A Cultural History Google Scholar

Phillips, Michael, 2013. ‘“Blancanieves”: Grimm tale, rendered silently, beautifully’, Chicago Tribune, 25 April. Available at: >http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-04-25/entertainment/sc-mov-0424-blancanieves-20130426_1_macarena-garcia-blancanieves-uggie> [accessed 8 January 2017]. Google Scholar

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Woods Peiró, E., 2012. White Gypsies: Race and Stardom in Spanish Musicals (Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press). White Gypsies: Race and Stardom in Spanish Musicals Google Scholar

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Cox, Anna k.