Blancanieves

Te Busco y No Te Puedo Encontrar

Set in 1920s Spain, Pablo Berger‘s black and white silent film, Blancanieves (Snow White), reimagines the classic fairy tale amongst bullfighting and flamenco.  A must-see!

“I think a movie’s like a paella, you put all of your obsessions in there. But the first idea came with a photo, of bullfighting dwarves, which I saw in this amazing book, España Oculta. Christina Garcia Rodero spent 15 years travelling around villages in Spain, photographing fiestas. These dwarves were looking at me, because they were looking straight at the camera, and somehow I imagined placing a young woman amongst them, a teenager dressed as a bullfighter, and she’s like Snow White. That was it. Then I started pulling the strings.” Pablo Berger

España Oculta. Cristina Garcia Rodero

Photo by Cristina Garcia Rodero from her series España Oculta

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The Birth of Olympia

With Olympia, Manet reworked the traditional theme of the female nude, using a strong, uncompromising technique. Both the subject matter and its depiction explain the scandal caused by this painting at the 1865 Salon. Even though Manet quoted numerous formal and iconographic references, such as Titian’s Venus of Urbino, Goya’s Maja desnuda, and the theme of the odalisque with her black slave, already handled by Ingres among others, the picture portrays the cold and prosaic reality of a truly contemporary subject. Venus has become a prostitute, challenging the viewer with her calculating look. This profanation of the idealized nude, the very foundation of academic tradition, provoked a violent reaction. Critics attacked the “yellow-bellied odalisque” whose modernity was nevertheless defended by a small group of Manet’s contemporaries with Zola at their head.

Text from Musée d’Orsay

Titian Venus of Urbino

Venus of Urbino. Titian. 1538

maja desnuda Goya

La Maja Desnuda. Francisco Goya. 1797-1800

Odalisque with slave by Ingres 1842

Odalisque with Slave. Ingres. 1842.

Olympia. Edouard Manet. 1863.

Olympia. Edouard Manet. 1863.