Cronos (1993)

“Cronos” (1993)

IMDb

Fantasporto 2010

teddy bear

Wanting to make a film is a love affair. Any new film is perfect in the mind of who imagines it. You go to your bed at night, and you picture it, just like you first dreamed it. You may loose that vision, you may compromise it if you ever have the luck to advance the idea, but forever you’ll have the perfection of an idea. So, i suppose doing films starts as an act of love. Guillermo del Toro certainly is in love with what he does. The infatuation probably has been with him for a long time. he’s been around films, as viewer or maker, for a long time. so he invests his films in cinema itself. Every reference, more or less quirky, that molded his imagination, shows up in everyone of his scripts. That means he delivers honesty, consistently, and by itself that deserves respect.

But than, there are several levels of quality that one can consider when watching a film which on what each film-goer looks for. Del Toro delivers competence, all the time, every film. He knows how to explore a camera to convey the idea of suspense. He has a quirky imagination that allows him to deliver worlds worth visiting. And he is able to construct a world that allows for two dimensions. One which is ordinary, the real world where we all live in, and a fantastic dimension, where vampires exist, where little children materialize their games. That’s why Pan’s labyrinth was so loved, right? So, you will find all that, competently done in his films. But he simply isn’t too ambitious for me to really appreciate him. Honesty and competence does not equal spark. Yesterday i saw true fire in the imperfect new film of Wook Park. Better filmmakers play with more tools than they are given. del Toro builds films inside certain cinematic traditions, but simply won’t break them. If i had seen this film when it was new, i would probably have been excited at the perspective of seeing del Toro exceed it. Now i know he didn’t break his own rules. Instead he’s probably sliding into the realm of commercial success. I mean, so is Peter Jackson, but he made Braindead before… I hope del Toro can still surprise me, instead of being merely competent.

The really interesting element, that runs through this film and pan.. is the little girl. She is the materialization of that binding between the two worlds. But she is herself a quirky element that belongs to none. here in cronos she is given a place of ambiguity, as if the world was in fact spinning around her, and not the device that motivates the whole thing.

that artifact is, by the way, the second best thing here. A device shaped like a bug, which actually contains a bug inside. this is the metaphor for the insertion of a world inside the world. One is golden, curious, but cold and dead, the other is alive and odd. The inner bug controls the outer bug. fantastic invades reality. clever writing idea.

the last good thing is the little girl’s personal space. It conveys that sense of old attics where you can find nearly anything. I love that. This one has an arc where the vampire hides during the day, and is perforated in a way that allows the sunlight to be all around, in a cleverly illuminated way. nice.

My opinion: 3/5

This comment on IMDb

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