Okay, rewind to about a year ago. Michel Hazanavicius’ The Artist had taken every film award under the sun including the Oscar for Best Picture. It was the talk of the town — a silent film that paid homage to the early days of Hollywood while still telling an incredibly accessible story; it was just the second silent film to win Best Picture and the only French film to win ever Best Picture. It was truly a great day for French cinema.
Cut to: A darkened room filled with clutter and covered in mould. A SMALL TELEVISION flickers in the corner showing images of French people storming the stage at the Academy Awards. In front of this TV is an emaciated, BEARDED FIGURE. His fingernails have grown long and filthy; he is surrounded by jars of his own urine. He seethes with jealousy at the sight of the smiling Frenchies on the telly. This man is the Spanish film industry.
In his mind, he has already started to build a plan… he will find a way to get the best of those French people. He will make his OWN black and white movie that make The Artist look like MICHAEL BAY’S PEARL HARBOUR! It will be DOUBLY SILENT! And it will win TWICE as many Best Picture Oscars as The Artist! And it will be full of wonderful SPANISH THINGS like matadors and it will feature something like FIVE TIMES the number of beautiful women!
And so presumably began the development process on Blancanieves…
Now don’t get us wrong, Blancanieves does look to be a beautiful piece of work that puts a twist on a beloved fairy tale ( the title translates to ‘Snow White’ in English). It’s been acclaimed at festivals and by critics and it could be an absolute masterpiece for all we know. But its core conceit is so completely ripped-off from The Artist that it would be impossible to judge it on its own merits.
It would be like us prancing into an Apple store, shouting: “Hey everyone! I’ve invented a new product! It’s called the eyePad! I know you think it’s just like the iPad, but it’s not. It’s better. Because it IS and because it’s SPANISH!”