Kim and went to see Pan’s Labyrinth today.  Man!  I’ve wanted to see that since I first heard about it, and Kim was gracious enough to see it, even though there are a ton of Oscar movies we haven’t seen this year.  (We’ve been exceptionally deficient in staying on top of high quality films.)

Poor Kim.  Poor me.

The movie was really beautiful to look at, just as promised.  Or at least, the parts that I saw were.  I spent a good quarter of the movie hiding my eyes from the screen so I didn’t pass out.  (Everyone likely to read this probably recalls that gore in movies makes me… well, not ‘squeamish’, really, but unconscious.  I hear buzzing, my vision is surrounded by a gray tunnel, and I wake up a few minutes later with a headache and nausea.)

The movie is a fairytale interspersed with a story set in Franco’s Spain.  I’d thought that the historical part of the story was the backdrop, but it was the majority, easily.  It’s a shame, too, because the fairytale aspect was generally very good.  The historical portion?  It was harsh and brutish.  It earned the R-rating easily.

The thing that I don’t understand is: why is it okay to show or imply explicitly gory and awful violence?  I mean, I’m not really opposed to people being allowed to film or view whatever kind of corporo-destructive fantasies they may have, but isn’t that the kind of thing that should make everyone else – you know, the people without violence fetishes – turn away from the screen in horror?  Apparently not – I had plent of time to watch the audience instead of the screen, and people were staring blandly, the way they didn’t in Brokeback Mountain or Kinsey?  Or it should at least produce the kind of shameful cluck Angelina Jolie earned when she pulled out the leathers and the crop in Mr. and Mrs. Smith.  What kind of sickos are we when we shirk from variant sex, but filmmakers have to show us more interesting, graphic and variant deaths or we get bored?

I’m not advocating that movies need to be filled with variant sex, either, but if that’s going to be a standard of decency, at least set the bar higher for violence.  Jeez!