Dennis D. McDonald (ddmcd@ddmcd.com) consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management. Follow him on Google+. He publishes on CTOvision.com and aNewDomain and volunteers with the Alexandria Film Festival. He is also on Linkedin. To subscribe to emailed updates about additions to this web site click here.

Guillermo del Toro's PAN'S LABYRINTH

Guillermo del Toro's PAN'S LABYRINTH

By Dennis D. McDonald

Young Ofelia travels with her pregnant mother in 1944 Spain to live with her new stepfather. He is a cruel fascist military officer in charge of a rural army garrison that is hunting down and exterminating resistance fighters.

His evil and brutality force the bookish Ofelia to escape into a world of fantasy, one that combines  traditional fairy tale elements with the real fear and brutality that Ofelia senses-- and witnesses -- around her.

Everything about this film glows. Its combination of innocence, nightmare, magic, and beauty are balanced so artistically that you come away realizing how childish and inartistic so many other fantasy films are. Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Cabeza de Vaca) raises the visual and dramatic bar so high here that you cannot fail to be entranced.

Akira Kurosawa's SANJURO

Akira Kurosawa's SANJURO

Michael Curtiz' CAPTAINS OF THE CLOUDS

Michael Curtiz' CAPTAINS OF THE CLOUDS