Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Classic Latin American film studies in memory of Mario Benedetti

Sequence from El lado oscuro del corazón (The Dark Side of the Heart, Argentina, 1992, directed by Eliseo Subiela) featuring Mario Benedetti's poem 'No te salves'/'Don't Save Yourself' (recited by Oliverio/Dario Grandinetti to Ana/ Sandra Ballesteros) and starring Benedetti himself as 'El poeta alemán'/'the German Poet' reading his poem 'Corazón coraza'

Film Studies For Free was just going to post today on three classic Latin American film studies texts that are now fabulously available as free e-books from the wonderful people at University of Pittsburgh Press Digital Editions:

But then FSFF's author heard of the sad death at 88 of the great Uruguayan writer Mario Benedetti, who devoted his life to demonstrating, so beautifully, that 'the South also exists', in literature, politics, and the cinema.

As the BBC website reports: 'Born to Italian immigrants, Benedetti wrote more than 80 novels, poems, short stories and essays during a career spanning six decades. His 1960 novel [La tregua] The Truce was translated into 19 languages and made into a film', La tregua directed by Sergio Renán based on a script by Benedetti and Aída Bortnik (the film was also remade in 2003) .

While Renán's La tregua was probably the most important film based on Benedetti's writing (at least in terms of its political impact), he was, in FSFF's opinion, the most cinematic of South American poets, with over eighteen screenplays to his name. He had a particular association with the highly lyrical film work of Argentine writer-director Eliseo Subiela (an auteur on whose work FSFF's author has published), especially the films El lado oscuro del corazón (1992, sequence embedded above; also see here) and Despabílate amor (aka Wake Up Love, 1996).

Below, as is FSFF's wont, are links to some online and freely accessible studies of the 'Benedettian' films of Subiela, as well as of Uruguayan and Southern Cone cinema more generally.

Nunca te salvaste, Mario... Gracias.


Andy Hampson said...

I find your blog very useful and interesting could you possibly put a followers link in from the gadget menu on the dashboard so I can sign up and get a notification when you update
Keep up the good work

Catherine Grant said...

Thanks Andy. It's always good to get nice feedback. If you scroll right down to the very bottom of the blog you will find the 'followers' widget. Thanks for following FSFF.