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September 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Only months after The Artist received the best picture award at the Oscars, another black-and-white silent film produced by a European company is garnering rapturous reviews and could wind up competing with Hollywood’s best in the awards voting next year. On Wednesday, Spain selected Pablo Berger’s Blancanieves as its entry in the competition for the foreign-language award. In fact, no language is actually spoken, except in the intertitles (which presumably will be translated into the languages of the countries in which it will be distributed). “Blancanieves” means literally Snow White, and the film is yet another take on the classic Grimm fairy tale. In her “Programmer’s Note” at the recent Toronto Film Festival, Diana Sanchez wrote that the movies “plunges us into a fantastical realm where the chatter of voices is replaced by the intoxicating sounds of the soul. A reviewer for the blog also waxed lyrical, writing, “Silent cinema at its most powerful has a hypnotic, dreamlike quality that blurs the distinction between reality and fantasy. Pablo Berger travels this interzone like he’s the original cartographer of it.” Commented the Chicago Sun-Times‘s Roger Ebert: “This is as exciting, in many of the same ways, as the greatest traditional silent masterpieces. It’s a Spanish film, but of course silent films speak an international language.” The Toronto Globe & Mail headlined: “This year’s The Artist — Only Better.” And viewing it through the lens of an entertainment trade publication, Britain’s Screen Daily summed up, “The success of The Artist may well make it appealing to smart distributors.”