jueves, 24 de noviembre de 2011

Edgar


Ahora están muy de moda los “tecnócratas”. Esos señores sin emociones ni sentimientos, que, al parecer, saben mucho de lo suyo, y que no se meten en líos mientras acumulan trienios y quinquenios. Están tan de moda que en los países parias del sur de Europa van hacer presidentes a algunos de ellos. Y Keynes muertecito y enterrado para siempre. Concretamente, en España van a nombrar encargado al Registrador de la Propiedad de Santa Pola, un señor que me caería simpático, si no es por las marranadas que le han ordenado que haga.

La idea es que sigan desmontando lo que haya que desmontar para que el capital siga ganando un poquito más a costa del trabajo. Cuánto han cambiado las cosas desde el 15 de septiembre de 2008! Entonces parecía que iban a ser los grandes aparatos de los Estados-Nación, con sus sabios tecnócratas, los que iban a intentar arreglar el maremágnum que habían organizado los trileros de Wall Street. Ahora resulta que los tecnócratas también trabajan para los trileros.

Eso de los aparatos del Estado, suena tan poderoso, tan fálico. Son ya 5.000 o 6.000 años de tecnócratas y de escribas. Lástima que cada vez haya menos dinero para mantenerlos. Si en la historia de occidente, hay un “public servant”, un tipo que encarnó aquello de lo del aparato, fue J. Edgar Hoover, el fundador y director del FBI durante cuarenta años y bajo ocho presidentes distintos. Ninguno tuvo huevos de sacarle del despacho. A Obama le está pasando lo mismo con Panetta, que le lleva la contraria sin despeinarse.

Eastwood, que sigue demostrando que no hay tema que le de miedo, ha hecho un biopic sobre Hoover, interpretado por De Caprio. No me ha parecido tan buena como otros trabajos de Eastwood, pero la peli no está mal. A pesar de ser bastante lineal, hurga en los rumores sobre la homosexualidad y el travestismo de Hoover. La lucha por el poder encumbra a gente muy muy rarita. Me perdí bastante sutilezas de los diálogos, con muchos guiños a la historia contemporánea norteamericana, que los otros espectadores sí que captaban y eso me dio mucha rabia. Lo peor, el maquillaje que le iban poniendo a De Caprio y a Hammer (que interpretaba al amiguito de Hoover, Clyde Tolson). Por ahorrarse el sueldo de dos actores veteranos, aquello parecía el museo de cera. A la Watts da gusto verla hasta con arrugas artificiales.

domingo, 20 de noviembre de 2011

Anonymous


One important issue in the history of English literature is the authorship of Shakespeare's plays. Some evidence may indicate that William Shakespeare, the actor from Stratford-upon-Avon, wasn't the author of the plays but a proxy to shield the identity of the real one. The supporters of these theories argue that Shakespeare lacked both the literary education and knowledge of life in the Elizabethan court to write these plays. I'm not an expert in English literature (nor in its Spanish counterpart!), so I cannot opine about that issue. But this kind of theory denying authorship seems biased to me. “Shakespeare could not be one of the most important authors of Western literature because he wasn't a member of the court” recalls the argument that space aliens must have helped ancient Egyptians build the pyramids or Mayans predict eclipses. There is an obvious implied class prejudice in the case of the Shakespeare theory and of racial or cultural bias in the latter.

“Anonymous” is a historical drama that relies directly on the so-called “Oxfordian theory of Shakespeare authorship”, that is to say, that the real author of “Hamlet” and “Romeo and Juliet” was Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford. According to this theory, he used the plays to mobilize popular crowds in the political struggles surrounding Elizabeth I's succession, inspired by the familiar (and perhaps naïve) idea that "The pen is mightier than the sword."

The actors are good, the period look credible, and I was able to understand most of the dialogue, but I didn't like the film very much. It was slightly boring. I even left the theater for two minutes to use the bathroom (the first time in a long life of being transfixed religiously to the moving images in cinemas!) Maybe the overwhelming expressions of love, hate and war that Shakespeare's plays contain were not well used by Emmerich, the director. Or maybe I missed this part of the film, as Shakespeare's (or de Vere's) deep and resounding words, most of them of Germanic origin, are still too difficult for me to understand.

lunes, 7 de noviembre de 2011

Contagion


As it's well known, sci-fi movies (and other works) always reflect society's underlying feelings. It might not be very difficult to write the basic plot of the TV series “The walking dead”. A short walk in any big American city lets you to see an army of homeless people wearing rags and towing carts full of garbage. An army of zombies, expelled from paradise. You feel lucky not to be a pariah. You do still have credit to go to theaters and to eat large popcorn. You are still a human being, that's to say, a customer. But you know you can be bitten by the poverty at any moment and you will lose your home, your credit card, your place in the big table of capitalist world.

Last weekend, I went to theater to eat large popcorn ant to watch last Soderbergh's film. It's an action-thriller centered in the spread of a deadly epidemics. The first part of the movie is really distressing. Apparently, the disease is transmitted by simple contact and its rate of mortality is very high. You can feel apprehensive if the guy near you in the theater begins to cough. This unstoppable feeling of fuzzy fear is, in a certain way, a good image of the big individualism of Americans. Especially, in reference to personal spaces. The lesser physical contacts the best you feel in such an individualist society.

On the other hand, the story could be absolute real. The more likely disaster our civilization could suffer is this sort of pandemic involving an antibiotic resistant bacterium or an antiviral-resistant virus. Obviously, not all individuals would die, but our history would change. I'm just remembering Terry Gilliam's “Twelve monkeys”.

The general approach of “Contagion” is interesting. It seems more a documentary than fiction. We see the initial steps of the disease, which begins to kill people in different countries. After all, we live in a globalized world. Medical authorities and researchers realize quickly that the epidemics is really dangerous, but they can't avoid the riots when the quarantine is decreed. The problem is that this “documentary-approach” is difficult to manage. Public is used to noisy, violent and lively films, and “Contagion” becomes boring and boring when the film is winding on. The happy end is, of course, absolutely disgusting.