Posts in English

Top 50 Films – the 2010s

Top 50 Films – the 2010s

These are the movies that have stayed with me most over the last decade. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011) Terrence Malick captures the way we actually remember childhood – not in coherent episodes but in intensely apprehended moments, like Jessica Chastain...

Movie Diary 25/1/20

Movie Diary 25/1/20

Hustlers (2019) – This is a textbook example of how a female point of view can transform even very familiar stories. The narrative strategies that writer and director Lorene Scafaria employs – the story's events recounted to a journalist in flashbacks, the old hand...

Defensa de Violeta Parra

Defensa de Violeta Parra

The Parra family has the rare distinction of producing two major artists in a single generation: Nicanor, impudent antipoet who died only last year, and Violeta, folklorist, singer-songwriter and visual artist, who ended her own life in 1967. I read Victor Herrero...

Es que somos muy pobres, de Juan Rulfo

Es que somos muy pobres, de Juan Rulfo

Juan Rulfo is one of those authors famous for only a couple of books – his reputation rests on the short story collection El llano en llamas and the novel Pedro Páramo, both published in a burst of creativity in the 1950s. For an author whose terse style evokes a...

Sol del trópico, by Gabriela Mistral

Sol del trópico, by Gabriela Mistral

The poetry of Gabriela Mistral, who won the Nobel Prize in 1945, is very concrete, and generally it's yoked to the Chilean landscape. Often her protagonists are women: on solitary journeys that might be a pilgrimage or an attempt at flight; stuck in landscapes that...

Prosas apátridas, by Julio Ramón Ribeyro

Prosas apátridas, by Julio Ramón Ribeyro

Julio Ramón Ribeyro was a Peruvian author best known for his short stories; his work is enjoying a surge of attention in Peru on the 90th anniversary of his birth. Shopping in Lima I was torn between his collected stories, a formidable brick of a book, and his Prosas...

Habits of the Pigeons

Habits of the Pigeons

One nice thing about Ben's work on the Real Pigeons series (Book 4 is out now) is that he and I now notice pigeons much more than we used to. There are lots of different pigeons in America, too - the little brown torcazas, with their feathers like scales, the big...

Movie Diary 27/8/19

Movie Diary 27/8/19

Crazy Rich Asians (2018) – A blow for representation this may be, but the central relationship is on the messed-up Jane Eyre/Rebecca model, where the heroine (Constance Wu) has to make all the adjustments to win over her rich, impassive boyfriend (Henry Golding) –...

Frangipani

Frangipani

I see my grandfather's bones in frangipani tree branches: incautious in their instinct to share, they loll green tongues of leaf, litter the pavement with blossoms where they are trodden, turn banana-skin brown. I see them floating in saucers, stuck in lapels, a third...

Cameras

Cameras

They were happiest on holiday. It might sound obvious – who isn't happiest in their free time? For them, though, holidays served a more complex need than leisure. On holiday, she came into focus, and he remembered her. Andrew turned the lens, looking at the screen. He...