Wednesday, November 16, 2011



this post is primarily centered around the rhythmic rhyming and insights in the del toro film 'cronos' in contrast with his other films predominately hellboy but i entitled it 'aurora' because of how impacting and strange the character of the girl is in the story. she is much underestimated! and at the heart of most of guillermo del toro's fairy tale, fantasy, horror stories is the air of innocence which only a little child can possess.

firstly not only is aurora named after the greek goddess of the dawn who 'renews herself every morning and flies across the sky, announcing the arrival of the sun' which in itself illustrates immortality' (wikipedia) she is also named after the astrological phenomenon called aurora borealis which is 'a natural light display in the sky particularly in the high latitude (Arctic and Antarctic) regions, caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere' (wikipedia). now what is interesting about this is that most if not all the images of the light given off from a aurora is of a neon greenish color. in the movie 'cronos' when jesus gris started to give into the temptation of the cronos device the girl then started carrying/using a neon green glow stick as one only does at night (in the absence of light darkness prevails) and with knowing how guillermo del toro always includes a colorful meaning (no pun intended) behind his story i started asking myself what the green glow stick meant. with the introduction of the cronos device into jesus gris' life he entered into a dark night of the soul, a garden of gethsemane or middle aged crisis in which the girl aurora as the natural light was his guide through the darkness. the neon glowstick she carried was symbolic of aurora borealis.

after leaving the introduction of aurora there are some interesting things to point out about the character and nature of the girl:

  • most importantly THE GIRL NEVER TALKED! (until the end)
  • for most of the time THE GIRL WORE A CRIMSON RED SWEATER! (the life of blood was a theme in the movie)
  • THE GIRL seemed to POSSESS a STRENGTH ABOVE HER AGE! (she knocked dieter de la guardia out with his own staff with a force to cause massive injury nearly killing him)
  • THE GIRL seemed to COMMUNICATE TELEPATHICALLY! (a extreme nonverbal communication)
  • THE GIRL hardly SHOWED ANY EMOTION WHATSOEVER! (that's not normal)

to detract a little bit from aurora there are some important themes to highlight in the film 'cronos':

frankenstein - the jesus gris of cronos is the monster of frankenstein. after his return from the dead he greatly resembled frankenstein.
vampirism - the usage of blood was persistent in the entire movie. the vampires lust for blood is like jesus gris' lust for immortality. you become dependent on it to be sane.
dracula - the jesus gris of cronos is the vampire of dracula. at the end when his old skin was fully fleshed out he looked a lot like dracula who was very pale, cold, lifeless, thin. ironically this scene when he was fully reborn was upon his death bed. one cannot be born again without dying to the old man first.
zombies - after jesus gris' apparently came back from the dead he was a walking dead man meaning he was on the fringes of living and dying.
ghosts - after his 'death' he no longer existed to the world. he could never go back to his regular life as a man. we see when he returned to his house aurora removed her toys from the box and placed him in there like one of her dolls. jesus gris and the cronos device (or toy) were one.
immorality - the insect inside the immortal device possessed the power of longevity and youth. by giving it blood in return it gave life. it was a endless cycle. the pursuit of immortality is never-ending.
resurrection - jesus gris' rose from a fatal tragedy a new man, reborn.
innocence - the girl was the only one untouched, incapable of being tempted by the lure of immortality.
death as glorification - in the end his peace was found in dying, his triumph was found in humility. the greatest thing he could do was destroy the cronos device which ultimately would destroy him. in this he was glorified and immortalized.

its amazing how guillermo inter weaved the characters of frankenstein, dracula, ghosts like demons and zombies into a single person. guillermo also mentions how a lot of his movies include a rhythmic rhyming in which there is a intermingle play or dance between movies as if they intersect and cross over each other. in cronos we see several rhymes with hellboy I and II, pans labryith and don't be afraid of the dark:

  • the dieter de la guardia of cronos walks like sammael of hellboy
  • the aurora of cronos is the sally hirst of don't be afraid of the dark
  • the aurora of cronos is the grown up liz sherman of hellboy
  • the ending scene of cronos is very similar to the ending scene of pans labyrinth
  • just as jesus gris destroys the cronos device so does hellboy with the crown of the golden army
  • the clicking clock noise in the beginning of cronos is the same clicking clock noise that kroenen uses in hellboy
  • the camera angle in cronos that shows the arch angel statue with jesus gris and aurora in the background is the same camera angle in hellboy that shows the statue of jesus after professor broom is murdered by kroenen.
  • the usage of the cross chain, catholic saints, spiritual things, etc was seen in cronos and hellboy.
  • the setting of the title of cronos began on christmas which was the same setting of the beginning of hellboy II.
  • jesus gris in cronos was similiar in image to professor broom in hellboy except the only difference is that when death came professor broom embraced it whereas jesus gris gave in to the temptation for immortality.
  • the scene where aurora was under the sheets in cronos with her green glowstick and when she hides from jesus gris' after taking the cronos device is very similiar to how sally hirst of don't be afraid of the dark hides under the sheets before abruptly encountering the ghost monster.
  • the machine wheels that they show inside the cronos device is strikingly similar to the machine wheels that was used to create the golden army in hellboy II.
  • the green glowstick that aurora uses to read at night in cronos is the same color glowstick that abe sapien uses when he dives into the vault to look for sammael's eggs in hellboy.

there are some things in the movie that should be taken into consideration:

the booklet that gives the instructions on how to use the cronos device is very similar to the scrapbook guillermo uses. one would suggest that guillermo is sort of a alchemist that has attained immortality through the stories that he writes. he has developed a certain magical formula that is disclosed in his movies that only the simple in heart or childish babes understand.

the man hanging upside down in the alchemists house is similar to how people were hanged during the inquisition which was set around the time of the preface to the movie. it also is similar to how peter the apostle was crucified upside down.

the clicking of the clock in the beginning may suggest the passing of time against the inevitability of death. thus in the beginning we are initially hit with the contrasting themes of immortality and death. jesus gris' store was full of clocks and ironically the statue that held the cronos device of immortality was found there.

the bible mentions how that if you seek to save your life (gain immortality as in live forever) you will lose it and if you give up your life you will find it. jesus gris did both. in his quest to attain and maintain immortality he lost everything he had but when he destroyed the cronos device and gave up his life he actually found it once again.

ones quest for immortality spurs another. in dieter de la guardia's looking for the cronos device jesus gris' wound up finding it. initially one would think the cronos device ended up in the wrong hands because of the damage it did upon jesus gris' life but in the end who knows what evil things deiter de la guardia would have done with it. only jesus gris' demonstrated the strength to destroy it and stop its continued harmful existence. just like how jesus christ, who's name is strikingly similar to jesus gris, was used as a sacrifice to end sin so likewise we see how jesus gris was used as a sacrifice to end the cronos device. this act of humility takes even greater strength. these are the silent victories of the heros!

the cronos device was shaped like a taranchula. when it latched itself unto jesus gris' hand it stung him. right before that he was laughing as if it was just a amusing toy. there are certain toys we are not supposed to play with. his wife pulled out a stinger that was implanted deep in his hand. this suggests he was poisoned or infected of which afterwards he starts to develop a extreme rash that creates a great urge in him to appease the pain that only could be done by continued use of the cronos device. in a sense he was suffering withdrawal like a drug addict would after discontinued use of a substance. in a sense inwardly he was dying and the cronos device was the only thing that could heal him. in a sense he was suffering from a cold which formally was medically cured by bloodletting.

jesus gris says his prayers right before giving into the temptation of the cronos. in a sense he is sinning by touching the forbidden fruit. after he gets done indulging as he rolls down the stairs almost in ecstasy of orgasm he is caught by the girl who sees him in shame. he denies the situation and says 'he's okay' as if everything he was doing is normal and is left there knowing he is guilty and in fear of the implications thereafter.

ironically there was a clown in the the party scene on new years eve who was dressed up to look like a clock. again the usage of clocks is seen. the clicking of time, the passing of life. this happened while jesus gris was on his hunt for more blood. he had no idea his life was suddenly going to come to a end. it is interesting how the stoned guys need for more addicting substances corresponds with jesus gris' newly increased need for blood. it was initially the stoned guy in jesus gris' store that unveiled the cronos device finding it probably to sell to angel de la guardia in return for more substances. and again we see how the mans nose was bleeding at the new years eve party probably because he was snorting cocaine. and i wonder if it was him that lead angel de la guardia to find jesus gris in the bathroom.

it was absolutely humorous when angel de la guardia's head was resting on jesus gris' crouch. im not sure if guillermo wanted that position for humor but it was quite weird and uncomfortable a spot to fall back on (no pun intended) for the both of them.

there are several falls in the movie. first jesus gris is thrusted off the cliff in a car by angel de la guardia falling to his death though he survives. the second fall is when jesus gris throws angel de la guardia off the billboard knowing he won't survive. its almost like jesus gris got revenge.

the only time the girl aurora talked was at the end of the movie and her single word alone had the power to shake him out of his insanity and deliver him from his own evil of darkness. and that's probably the first time he ever heard her talk!

the little girl in cronos for most of the time wore a crimson red sweater which signifies blood. the life of the flesh is in the blood. spiritually the blood of christ shed provided a way for humanity to have eternal life (immortality). one would suggest that the girl had immortality the whole time. even guillermo eludes to that fact that the only person that actually lived forever was the girl. her image sort of reminds you of little red riding hood.

ironically humorous how angel de la guardia kept on getting his nose broken in the process of seeking plastic surgery.

the ending of the movie faded into white to signify a transition into heaven or into another life. this same kind of bright gradual illumination is seen in the ending of pans labyrinth as well in which there is a transition from one realm to another. in the movie the death of jesus gris was a representation of the death of josefina camberos. it transitioned from the movie realm to our real realm. through this movie, the act of story telling, josefina camberos is immortalized. we are able to immortalize people and ideas through our memories of them.

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