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Gabriel García Márquez and the Cinema

Gabriel García Márquez and the Cinema: Life and Works

Series: Monografías A
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 228
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  • Book Info
    Gabriel García Márquez and the Cinema
    Book Description:

    "A unique and indeed indispensable addition to the critical literature on a writer of world importance." Gerald Martin, author of Gabriel García Márquez: A Life Far from being an occasional occupation, García Márquez's film work forms an intrinsic part of his overall aesthetic and literary poetics. The book's primary aim is to present a detailed study of García Márquez's wide-ranging filmography, which has never received a comprehensive, systematic analysis. Rocco argues that it should be recognised as an integral part of the author's narrative output, and brought into the mainstream of studies concerning his literary activity. The first part of the book reconstructs the trajectory of García Márquez's career in cinema and his connections with the world of film. The second part looks at all his screenplays on which actual films have been based. These are examined chronologically, but also analysed according to thematic and aesthetic concerns and placed in relation to the novels and short stories with which they are 'twinned'. Alessandro Rocco is Researcher in Latin American Literature and Culture at the University of Bari, Italy

    eISBN: 978-1-78204-337-9
    Subjects: Film Studies, Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Preface
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  6. 1 The Cinema in the Life of García Márquez
    (pp. 1-46)

    As all readers of Gabriel García Márquez know, the cinema plays an integral part in virtually all his novels and short stories, making its mark on the reality he represents. The most celebrated example is probably the passage inCien años de soledadin which the inhabitants of Macondo are up in arms. They decide not to go to the cinema any more to see the films that arrive in the village, because they refuse to accept that ‘the character who had died and was buried in one film and for whose misfortune tears of affliction had been shed would...

  7. 2 Tiempo de morir
    (pp. 47-68)

    If one had to single out García Márquez’s most successful achievement as a screenwriter in Mexico in the years prior to the publication ofCien años de soledad, there is no doubt that it would beTiempo de morir. García Márquez himself referred to it as the first film script he produced with an original subject, starting from the image of ‘an oldpistolerowho learned to knit during his long years of imprisonment’.² But there is also a more personal reference in the story: a family memory concerning the author’s grandfather, Colonel Nicolás Márquez, who killed a man in...

  8. 3 Films from the 1970s: The Ghosts of Realism
    (pp. 69-86)

    The three films made by Mexican directors in collaboration with García Márquez in the 1970s have in common an unmistakable social and political critique, reflecting the Colombian writer’s involvement in politics in those years. There is also one other aspect that links the three films in question: the representation of reality takes on such gloom that it comes to figure as a genuine nightmare. In the first two films, based on collective, choral stories, we witness a chaotic, all-enveloping dissolution of the social order, triggered by sensational events such as the premonition or the plague epidemic. And in the third...

  9. 4 Screenplay and Revolution: ¡Viva Sandino!
    (pp. 87-92)

    The films analysed in the previous chapter have shown that, during the second half of the 1970s, García Márquez viewed the cinema as an explicitly political means of communication, among other things, and this also emerges from other experiences. In 1977, for example, while in Caracas, García Márquez told the press that he wanted to produce a screenplay based on the reality of the Panama Canal. The author, a friend of the president, General Omar Torrijos, had been a member of the Panamanian delegation in the negotiations which led to the signing of a new international treatise regulating jurisdiction over...

  10. 5 Magic Realism in the Cinema
    (pp. 93-110)

    In the 1980s, as we have seen, García Márquez was able to realise two film projects going back a number of years. First, the script forEréndira, which he had written in the late 1960s, was made into a film; and secondly, he was at last able to work on a film with the director Fernando Birri, a great friend of his from their time together at the Centro Sperimentale in Rome. The latter chose to adapt the short story ‘Un señor muy viejo con unas alas enormes’, and this meant that the two films, shot respectively in Mexico and...

  11. 6 Six Episodes for Cinema and Television: Amores difíciles
    (pp. 111-138)

    As we have already seen,Amores difícileswas an important project from various points of view: the sheer size of the series’s production and promotion, the involvement of the Cuban cinema school and six well-known directors, and the centrality of the screenwriter. Six stories by García Márquez, developed in collaboration with the directors and the other co-screenwriters, constituted the starting point for the whole project. Two were fromEl amor en los tiempos del cólera,¹ two were subsequently published in the collection of short storiesDoce cuentos peregrinos, and two were original stories writtenad hoc. The tenuous thread running...

  12. 7 Con el amor no se juega
    (pp. 139-146)

    At the beginning of his book entitledCómo se cuenta un cuentoGarcía Márquez explains that everything began when he was contacted by the television company with a request for thirteen love stories, each lasting half an hour, set in Latin America. Since at the time he was involved in a screenplay laboratory in Mexico, he decided to involve the participants in making up the stories. In this way, through a collective project, ‘the idea, even if of a single person, is developed with the participation of everybody’. The method is the same as the one used in the seminars...

  13. 8 The Fantastic on Television: Me alquilo para soñar
    (pp. 147-152)

    ‘Me alquilo para soñar’ is one of the short stories published in the collectionDoce cuentos peregrinos. In the guise of a reporter–narrator García Márquez recalls a series of meetings with a woman who had a special gift: she could foresee the future for other people in her dreams. She was also capable of putting this gift to good use by offering her services as a sort of domestic soothsayer. She managed to be taken on by a rich family to dream what was in store for them, and they became so attached to her that they bequeathed her...

  14. 9 History and Tragedy: Edipo Alcalde
    (pp. 153-166)

    A Colombian friend, Gustavo Ibarra Merlano, sealed the literary destiny of García Márquez by ordering him to go and read the classics of Greek literature. As the author says:

    I went off to my room, got into bed and began to read the book from page one – it wasOedipus Rex, in fact – and I just could not believe it. I read and read and read – I started at two in the morning and then it was dawn – and the more I read, the more I wanted to read. I think that since then I have...

  15. Afterword: Works by García Márquez Adapted for the Cinema
    (pp. 167-180)

    Whenever cinema and literature are being discussed, the first subject that comes up tends to be how a literary work is served by a film adaptation. Clearly, as cinema developed into an art form in which narration was paramount, the literary tradition was rightly viewed as a source of inspiration: an immense repository of stories, characters and narrative structures ready to be transferred to the screen, often with the added advantage of being familiar to the public and hence readily recognisable. This accounts for the paradox whereby, the better-known the work of literature, the greater the desire and curiosity to...

  16. Filmography
    (pp. 181-192)
  17. Bibliography
    (pp. 193-202)
  18. Index
    (pp. 203-212)
  19. Back Matter
    (pp. 213-213)