AFI Movie Club: PAN’S LABYRINTH – American Film Institute

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AFI Movie Club: PAN’S LABYRINTH

PAN’S LABYRINTH, directed by horror auteur Guillermo del Toro, is a tale of young Ofelia’s journey into a magical yet macabre underworld. The Academy Award®-winning film screened at AFI FEST 2006 presented by Audi. 

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PAN’S LABYRINTH – Reelgood

Watch Emilia Clarke announce the film:

 

Movie Trivia About Today’s Film

DID YOU KNOW? 

Guillermo del Toro has said that he intended PAN’S LABYRINTH to be a “spiritual successor” to his third feature, THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE. The protagonists of the earlier film – played by Íñigo Garcés and Fernando Tielve – make cameo appearances in PAN’S LABYRINTH. 

DID YOU KNOW? 

PAN’S LABYRINTH is set in 1944 Spain, during the Franco regime after the country’s civil war. However, Guillermo del Toro referred to his film as a parable as opposed to political commentary. 

DID YOU KNOW? 

Guillermo del Toro spent years collecting fairy tales in their original incarnations and from their earliest publications, keeping detailed notebooks of his observations and ideas for more than 20 years. One of the common themes he noticed across various stories was the choosing of one’s own destiny. 

DID YOU KNOW? 

As a child, Guillermo del Toro had dreams about a faun, which informed the character in PAN’S LABYRINTH. 

DID YOU KNOW? 

A common misconception was that Guillermo del Toro named the faun character after the Greek deity Pan – but in interviews, del Toro has said that the Greek Pan was an inaccurate translation of the faun, who is more of a trickster with conflicting desires: to destroy and to nurture. 

DID YOU KNOW? 

Filming took place in the Sierra de Guadarrama mountain range on the Iberian Peninsula of Spain. 

DID YOU KNOW? 

Actor Doug Jones required up to five hours of makeup daily for his faun costume, including the application of the horns which added 10 pounds to his head. Already tall at 6’4”, Jones also stood on eight-inch lifts to embody the faun. 

DID YOU KNOW? 

Writer/director Guillermo del Toro wrote his own subtitles for the foreign releases. 

DID YOU KNOW? 

Premiering at the Cannes Film Festival, PAN’S LABYRINTH received a 20-minute standing ovation. 

DID YOU KNOW? 

PAN’S LABYRINTH won three Academy Awards® – Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography and Best Makeup. It was also nominated for three additional Oscars®, including Best Foreign Language Film, Best Original Score and Best Original Screenplay, which marked Guillermo del Toro’s first Oscar® nod. 

Learn more at the AFI Catalog.

 

Watch this exclusive video of filmmaker Guillermo del Toro from the AFI Archive.

The movie doesn’t end at the credits: Family-friendly Discussion Questions

Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram now using #AFIMovieClub. Or post your responses in the comment section below.

In PAN’S LABYRINTH, the faun character physically transforms throughout the picture. Describe some of the changes you notice in his appearance. Why do you think he evolves in this way? 

– What are the various sources of Ofelia’s sadness? Do you empathize with her situation? 

-In a film that explores the fissure between obedience and free will, what does Ofelia’s experience represent about coming of age? 

-In an interview, Guillermo del Toro recalled the words of his screenwriting teacher: “Don’t make movies you need to do, do the movies that need you to do them.” How is PAN’S LABYRINTH a movie that needed to be made? What important messages did you take away from it? 

-PAN’S LABYRINTH depicts characters who are at a crossroads in their lives and shows how their choices will define who they will become, or how they will get through the labyrinth of life. Describe some of the important decisions made throughout the film and their consequences. 

-What are some of the recurring symbols that appear in the film, and what do they represent? 

-In PAN’S LABYRINTH, Ofelia’s mother Carmen tells the girl that “life is not like your fairytales,” but she lives in a fantasy of her own in which she is unable to see Captain Vidal’s brutality. Compare how mother and daughter cope with their circumstances. Who do you think is most caught in a fairytale, and what famous fairytales do you recognize from your childhood? 

-PAN’S LABYRINTH shows the many sacrifices people make to help others, particularly at the end. Considering the underlying story of violence and war, how do you think these sacrifices represent life during wartime? 

-Do you think PAN’S LABYRINTH was all a fantasy in Ofelia’s mind, or do you think it actually happened in the film’s fictional world? How does PAN’S LABYRINTH make you feel about the reliability of “reality”? 

-How would you rate PAN’S LABYRINTH? 

 

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