ABOUT GUELYLAND

"One of the smallest , independent kingdoms in the ciberuniverse. Nothing fancy. Population? Just me, myself and my jaguars, my movies and my books (and, at this very moment, YOU). Hided and secret like Skull Island or Opar, the ancients in Guelyland use to read the scrools of a minor god called Voor-Hes.
Most of the treasures of Guelyland are made of paper, plastic and vinyl.Guelyland dreams with expanding in deep more then in surface. The music of Nik Kershaw has been heard here. There are apes, lots of apes in Guelyland. Woody Allen and Bob Hope visit it quite often. Here we love books (the Kingdoms Library is both celebrated and secret) Here we are atheists but very tolerant and think of god a bit too often and much. Guelyland is, the stuff my dreams are made of..."

MAY I INTEREST YOU IN SOME...

PEOPLE WITH TASTE. YOU CAN BE ONE OF THEM!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

ROMA


Dirigida por Rodolfo Aristarain (2004).
Roma es el nombre de esta película.
Roma es la última novela de Joaquín Goñez (mi siempre admirado José Sacristán), un escritor argentino a quien los vientos de la vida llevan finalmente a España.
Roma es, finalmente, el nombre de su madre.
La historia nos es contada en flashback. La historia de Joaquín mientras se la narra a su escribiente. Cuando lo conocemos el autor es un tipo cascarrabias y antipático. Cuando nos vamos enterando de quien fué y cómo llegó a ello lo empezamos a entender y al final lo terminamos queriendo.
Debo decir que me deleito en este film pero como más que en una simple película. Ya que es toda una escuela (un curso intensivo de dos horas) donde recibimos invalorables lecciones no sólo de literatura, cine y música sino sobretodo de amor, lealtad, de filosofía de la vida. Una película sincera que no trata de pintarnos las cosas como deberían ser sinó como son. A ratos sentimos que Joaquín esta escribiendo para nosotros y nos sentimos agradecidos por tanta sabiduría que nos vemos tentados a empezar a tomar nota de sus consejos porque los sabemos valiosos y que eventualmente nos servirán. Podría facilmente haber sido nostálgica y graciosa pero prefiere ser real, tan real que la vemos como si fuese nuestra propia vida surcando el ecran y nos sentimos identificados aunque los hechos no concuerden necesariamente con nuestra experiencia. Hay, sin embargo, que reconocer que en algún momento habrá mas de una coincidencia que nos haga pensar lo contrario. Aquí una escena, de entre las muchas, que me gustaron. Joaquín y su mamá (Roma) sentados en la mesa, poco despues de la prematura muerte de su padre:

Roma: Tenemos que hablar de hombre a hombre. Las cosas no andan bien, Joaco.

Joaco: Si tenemos problemas, papá desde arriba nos va a ayudar.

Roma: Quién te dijo eso?

Joaco: La tía Aida. me dijo que papá nos va a proteger siempre.

Roma: No Joaco. Papá no está en ningún lado. No está arriba. No está en el cielo. Ya no podemos pedirle nada. No podemos pedirle que nos ayude porque no está. Se murió. cuando alguien se muere es el final. La muerte es el final. Fin, como en las películas.

Quiero agradecer a mi amigo Alberto Vizcarra que tuvo la cariñosa idea de mandarme el DVD original de esta película desde los Estados Unidos. Créo que sabía cuanto me iba a gustar y no pudo estar mas acertado.

Feliz cumpleaños, Pichón!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

JAGUAR


Maybe it's about time i begin to explain myself about that rectangle of skin (nope! It's not real)where the very name of this humble place that we call Guelyland lays. Well, you see, i have this thing about jaguars that has grown very old and deep on me and I don't remember exactly since when, but i can say that when i was eight years old it was already there.

I remember that when i was a lad i use to write lists of animals and all those always started with the jaguar. In the begining i was confused cos my father use to tell me the old brazilian joke about "the friend of the onza" and that when in the Matto Grosso they offered him little "panthers" for sale. In the "Album de las Crías" there was this "yaguarete" cub. Then, in the zoo "El Parque de las Leyendas", in Lima, they have this beautiful "otorongo" in a cage. And yeah, you know it already, all of those are names for my dear jaguar (or Panthera Onca, according to good old Linnaeus ). I must have been talking a lot about jaguars and big cats with my cousins and brother because after a while Carlitos came up with the lynx and i don't remember if it was my brother Tito or cousin Osvaldo that came up with the cheetah as their favorite feline. But what i do remember well is that my friend Jorge "Bico"Torres came up with the leopard. We use to compete with our respective jaguar and leopard scrapbooks and he went to the zoo to take pictures of the leopard there and i instead some jaguar pics from books(!) with my father's camera (by the way the lion was dad's big cat of choice). In 1975 the Feline War was declared. Yes my friend "Bico" has decided for the one step further and to have leopard people behind him and I, well, I had no choice but recruit jaguars to fight on my side. It was a question of loyalty "I am a jaguar!", "Change my mind, now I'm a leopard!", "I don't know yet!". We were chasing each other in the school and then asking for which side you are "now you gonna tell me".
Much later i discovered that Borges had the same thing, but, about tigers (Panthera Tigris). I use to judge a book for it's jaguars. I didn't want and animal book or a dictionary or an card album or love an animal documentary if they didn't have a jaguar picture in. Sometimes i use to like the jaguarless books so much that I myself glued a cut out picture of a jaguar in the book so i could like it without remorse. I created The Green Jaguar that looked a bit too much like The Pink Panther. For a long time a post stamp of a jaguar was the holy grail of my days as philatelist.
Was it my favorite animal, a bit because we had jaguars in Peru? Well, yes, I guess. Now is like the opossite, I like Peru for not many more reasons then his jaguars.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

MISSES PEEL


Fue mi primera heroina. No recuerdo desde cuando me gusta. Acaso desde siempre. La veía muy de noche en la tele, toda una aventura para un chiquito de seis o siete años. Dame Diana Rigg le dió vida en la mítica serie Los Vengadores. Bella, valiente, fuerte. Sabe pelear y vestir (le encanta el cuero). Muy inteligente y con gran sentido del humor. Sexy, independiente, chic y graciosa. Tiene talentos en escultura, judo, trombón y esgrima y no es invulnerable pero uno sabe que podría confiar en ella. Es del tipo de chica que te pueden rescatar sin hacerte sentir por ello un inutil. Inaccecible de algún modo, sensible en muchos. Para mi nunca pasa de moda y, venga quien venga, ella es siempre la mejor. Fiel a su esposo (perdido en el Amazonas, desde que la conocemos) pero con un gran cariño por el envidiable y dandy John Steed. Vive en una laberíntica Inglaterra de fantasía donde no existe la pobreza, las calles están semivacías y el swing de los sesentas es eterno, donde la excentricidad y el crimen van demasiado a menudo de la mano. Robots, genios locos, entes venusinos, organizaciones secretísimas y criminales megalómanos han tenido el gusto de ser derrotados por élla. Hoy en día se abusa de la palabra "cool" pero podría creermelo si alguien me dijera que fue acuñada para esta felina.

Monday, April 20, 2009

EL CRUCIFIJO

El señor de en medio es el actor Paul Scofield.
Acabo de terminar de ver esta película que dude algunos minutos si comprar o no. No me decidí por la esperada magistral actuación de Daniel Day-Lewis o la de Winona Ryder, esa princesa de los noventas, sinó por el credito de Arthur Miller, uno de los grandes dramaturgos americanos del Siglo XX. La historia puede ser familiar: los procesos de las brujas de Salem de 1692. Pero acá casi no hay brujería sinó algo peor: la ceguera del celo religioso y muy en el fondo ambición por terrenos y plata. Aparte de los mencionados Lewis y Ryder me quedé boquiabierto con la actuación del veterano actor shakesperiano Paul Scofield, el juez, que nos da un personaje sincero y duro en el que hay que apreciar cada mínimo gesto y palabra. Otro actor y personaje que me impresionaron fue Rob Campbell que hizo de Rev. Hale, el que llega con sus libros para investigar los casos de brujeria. Paranoia, traición, mentir tanto hasta convencerse uno mismo, venganza que se va de las manos hasta alcanzar proporciones grotescas, miedo a la autoridad, culpa, el tapar una mentira con otra , histeria colectiva, injusta justicia. Nunca había leido nada de Miller y mi rara copia en video de Muerte de un Viajante (con Dustin y Malkovich!) nunca la vi por que no tenía texto y luego me falto valor para enfrentarme a una obra de teatro serio (ahora me prometí que la veré pronto), el gran dramaturgo era para mi el gran escritor que se caso con Marilyn (bueno entonces si he visto Los Inadaptados, menos mal). Ahora luego de escuchar sus dialogos (el escribió el guión de la película) siento por el un conciente respeto intelectual.
Ahora sólo me queda seguir cruzando los dedos para que algún día hagan el DVD de The Devils de el director "maldito" Ken Russell. Película de temática similar pero con la locura subida a 11!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

SHOLAY


The ultimate curry-western, Sholay (Ramesh Sippy,1975) is fun, naive, cool and entertaining in a very bollywoodian way. A real massala (a film with everything in, like some food). I don't need to speak hindi or be born in Bombay to be able to watch many times this movie and be happy for it. If some one told me that the two main characters were real friends since their childhood i wouldn't have any reason to doubt it because so good is the chemistry between them. I think this movie was the one for Amitabh Bachchan. Dharmendra was already a star (hence, the first billing). Amjad Khan, as usual plays the man you will love to hate (but this was his first time!). The locations are beautiful, and at least the song on the motorcycle (see the clip at the "magic moments" box on the right side of this scroll) is, for this guelylander, unforgettable. We can see the Sergio Leone influence (Once Upon the Time in the West) and even some Kubrick touch with the fascist prison boss (like the one in Clockwork Orange) and of course, Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid. The train scene is quite memorable as an action piece and the chase of Basanti (Hema Malini) by the dacoits is no much less. Especially after she begs her loyal horse "Run as you never before, this time is for my chastity!"
To a Bollywood fan you don't ask Have you seen it? but how many times !
Gabbar Singh the bad guy asks to the stoic "sheriff" Thakur:
"How do you plan to fight me Thakur? I've long cut off, and discarded, your arms. "
"One uses their feet to crush a snake Gabbar, not the hands. " Right answer...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

CRISIS? WHAT CRISIS? I CAN HOVITOS!!

I dunno but i think we are living in a harvest time. Never ever i found so many vinyl, CDs, DVDs, mags and books so cheap and so good. While people is literaly throwing away their collections cos they wanna have them in the computer or IPod, I am just picking up the pieces almost for free. Ok (doctor), I'm kind of a compulsive collector but i never keep nothing that i don't enjoy and my computer is full of stuff as well. As i told my daughter, quoting Jaws, "We gonna need a bigger boat!" and we are moving next month to a bigger apartment, bookshelf space actually. I can go any day out hunting for treasures and always comeback home with great game for my collections. I know, i know but i feel like Supertramp when they say "Crisis? What crisis?"


Today for example, in a charity shop five good LPs (exhibit proof A, LP from 1967 with 12 beautiful chansons by the ultimate interesting woman and sweet singer: Jeanne Moreau!) and 3 books (exhibit B: Ecological Imperialism The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900 by one Alfred W. Crosby, already so interesting that i missed my train station).
I feel as good as Dr. Jones if he actually knew hovitos before Bellocq said: Hakanamatuso!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

MY MUSICAL CULTS

Harder then finding movies (that we all may like) are books and harder then books we all may like are music artists. It seems like musical tastes are more personal. Perhaps because it's just what found us at certain periods of our lives. Generally (but never an iron rule) when we are around 17 If I dare to say. The items showed in these pictures are the pride of my personal collection



Nik kershaw is like my favorite personal musical idol. Since 1982. And still is.

She was a dream girl as much as now she is a dream woman. Germany became more interesting since the late seventies but i didn't noticed (excepting for The Tin Drum) until the 80's. Nena Kerner my cult music friend since 1984.

Bowie, one of the most complete artists of the 20th century. I knew about him since the late 70's cos of his Roeg sci fi movie. And after Let's Dance was one of my favorites. But it wasn't until my cousin Carlos gave me a tape of his earlier carrier (Changes, Five Years, Life on Mars) much later that i said to myself "Let's go and search for some more".

Tomita, Isao Tomita, found me in 1982 when I was reading a lot of science fiction. It was the perfect soundtrack for my imagination. A way to hear classical music and feel like a blade runner at the same time.

One night after coming from a party i recorded some tracks of New Musik from Radio Doble 9. It was 1985. I still have to find someone else that likes this group. Very discret masterpieces, I may say.

I didn't know i liked Squeeze until i came to Europe. Realizing that THIS was the name of the group of so many songs i put on tapes with the name left in blank. The pleasure of finding a new record of them , from time to time, is something i always look after.

I always had the idea that mere pop was a bit too little for Joe Jackson. And time showed me that it was so. He is a versatile artist and can do so many different kinds of things and each one so well. So complete. Just knew him, as many, since Steeping Out.

Duran Duran...Well, I WAS Simon LeBon, ladies and germs! Made no mistake! At least until the begining of the 90's. After that someone else took my place.

Paul Simon was the guy that made music that broke the generation gap between me and my father. We could tap his music together on my way to the school. Talking prehistory here, middle seventies, that is.

I never gave a bean for not enjoying so much "classical music" as long as I always had the serious Mr. Herrmann with me. He suits me perfectly. I know i have good taste as long as I love his work and i don't think that it will ever change.

Another very personal group. Everytime i hear Roddy Frame singing it reminds me of myself.

And i won't forget Sinatra, Prima, Serrat, Wendy Carlos, Human League, Big country, Ultravox, The Alarm, Heaven 17 and The Thompson Twins.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

MEMORIES

I found, among other things, these nice lines in the book of the american novelist Percy Walker The Moviegoer, from 1961. So I quote:

"Other people, so i have read, treasure memorable moments in their lives: the time one climbed the Parthenon at sunrise, the summer night one met a lonely girl in Central park and achieved with her a sweet and natural relationship, as they say in books. I too once met a girl in Central Park, but it was not much to remember. What I remember is the time John Wayne killed three men with a carbine as he was falling to the dusty street in Stagecoach, and the time the kitten found Orson Welles in the doorway in The Third Man"

And i guess, so do I...



Walker(1916-1990) in his library.

WATCH ME, WATCHING YOU WATCHING ME

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