Cine, Cine documental

Rashomon [Akira Kurosawa]

Por desgracia no nos ha podido acompanar hoy Donald Gregg, era el invitado especial al evento. Donald Gregg trabajo para la CIA durante 31 anios. Fue consejero nacional de seguridad del vicepresident George H.W Bush y el Embajador americano en Korea del Sur.

Las palabras de Donald P. Gregg fueron: «Si me llega el momento de morir y puedo elegir ver una ultima pelicula, quiero ver Rashomon». El ha sido el responsable de brindarnos la oportunidad de estudiar esta pelicula.

Imagen de previsualización de YouTube

Es una película japonesa producida en 1950 por el director Akira Kurosawa. Rashomon es considerada una de las obras maestras de Kurosawa, con Toshirō Mifune como protagonista. Basada en el cuento escrito por Ryūnosuke Akutagawa en 1915, describe un crimen a través de diversos y variados testimonios, incluyendo el del perpetrador. Rashōmon fue una de las tres películas en las cuales Kurosawa colaboró con el maestro cineasta Kazuo Miyagawa.

El tema principal de la pelicula es la verdad. Y como la verdad es relativa.


Homeless people in New York City

«The winters in New York are very cold. I couldn’t fall asleep because of the cold. I was afraid of death if I fell asleep on the street at night. If I wanted to sleep in those days, I would never wake up. (…)

You don’t know what it is to be cold. What it is to be hungry. It is difficult to stand up after four or three days without food. I used to lean against the wall. I was dizzy, my stomach was empty. My eyes couldn’t see the street but the most incredible feeling was people couldn’t see me either». The saddest feeling that a homeless people can feel is loneliness. This anecdote was my first conversation with Dale. Dale Williams was homeless for three years, between 1988 and 1991 in New York City.

There are more than 35.000 people on the streets in New York City. Why don’t we see them? Why are they invisible to us?
I was walking on Seventh Avenue one afternoon last summer. A freezng man was laying face-down between 19 st and 20 st. I stopped dead and I looked at the situation from the corner. The man couldn’t hold it and he wet himself. While the urine was crossing the sidewalk, a woman with a pet stroller jumped the puddle. At that moment I asked myself: “Could we find a balance between spending $375 on a pet stroller for a dog and being able to make a call for help for that man?” “Isn’t our society out of control?” New Yorkers are animal lovers. However, what about taking care of human beings? I couldn’t sleep on that night because of the story which happened before. I decided to learn more about this issue in New York City. So, I collaborated in The Midnight Run Organization and I met Dale Williams, the founder of the Organization.
My first night in Midnight Run was one of the most amazing nights of my life.

A warm, masculine and deep voice spoke behind me: «Hi, how are you doing today?» When I turned around, I saw a handsome guy: green eyes, white teeth and big smile, tall, African American and polite. I offered him soup and he answered me: «If you made the soup, I will eat very gratefully” and he laughed. After he ate the soup, we had a long and friendly conversation. His name was Ben. Ben lives in Park Avenue behind the Church, near Bill Cosby’s house. “I used to see Bill Cosby many days ―Ben pointed the sentence―But he doesn’t want to see us. He is rich, you know? Ben had met John F Kennedy Junior too. Kennedy Junior used to go to the church on Park Avenue and he had helped Ben a lot. At his funeral there were many homeless people outside the Church. I remember how amazing it was listening to all the stories from that black guy. But, Dale Williams came to me and told me: «Carmen, come on! We have too much work to do in many places».

The two of us didn’t want to finish our conversation but I had to continue with the job. I told him good bye. He answered me saying that that week would be his last week as a homeless person. Ben would fly to San Francisco and he would start a new life. (I didn’t believe him; I thought he was dreaming about another life). When he was giving me a hug a couple pushed him, they didn’t apologize to him. Again, he was invisible to them. This was my first day helping homeless people at midnight in Midtown, Manhattan.

After a couple of months I went back to Midtown, I went behind the Church looking for Ben. It was before Christmas and I was planning to spend the holidays with my family in Spain. So, I went to invite him for a cup of tea and to continue with our conversation. Unfortunate, I couldn’t find him. I’ve never seen him again. Maybe it is not unfortunately because he could have started a new life in San Francisco.

We shouldn’t make generalizations about the homeless. Some of them lost their jobs. Some of them are immigrant looking for a better life in this country. Maybe this is because where the immigrants are from, they cannot survive. Some of them decided on this style of life. However in every case, we don’t have an excuse to convert them into invisible people. We are not human beings when one of them is laying face-down and we don’t make a simple phone call to the police. All of us must review our principles when we spend a lot of money in our dogs and cats and we don’t have any feeling about people. I am so sorry but I can’t see any sense.
I was reading the newspapers on the Internet this morning, when I read an article about 26 year-old guy who lost his job in December. Nowadays he is moving from internet cafes to “capsules” hotel (New-Business, 3). This is happening now in Japan. Today we are sitting in this chair at New York University but tomorrow we might be on the street. I am sure none of us wants to be invisible.

Cine, Cine documental

Pather Panchali [Satyajit Ray]

Se hizo un silencio absoluto en la sala. Necesitamos mas de unos minutos para recuperar el aliento y poder expresar que nos habia parecido la pelicula.

Jonh, Professor Emeritus en el departamento de Film at Brooklyn College me comentaba que fue proyectada por primera vez concretamente aqui, en New York. Se emitio en la sala de cine de Fifth Avenue. La respuesta de los espectadores fue exactamente la misma que he vivido yo hoy, 54 anios mas tarde. Lo mas curioso de esta reaccion es que hace 54 anios no tenian subtitulos, la gente enmudecio y fue capaz de entender la pelicula sin necesidad de conocer el idioma.

Aqui esta la escena del tren:
Imagen de previsualización de YouTube

Tambien Jonh me comentaba que despues de mas de veinte anios ensenando cine sigue sin saber presentar esta pelicula. El ha tenido el placer de conocer al director en persona; se sonrie y dice: Como es de esperar, «a lovely man«.

«The first movie from independent India to attract major international critical attention, Pather Panchali won «Best Human Document» at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival, establishing Satyajit Ray as a major international filmaker.» by Wikipedia

Sin duda hasta el momento la mejor pelicula que he visto. Es impresentable. La camara, la fotografia, la musica…

Lectura, Lectura novela historica

La sombra del viento [Ruiz Zafón, Carlos]

No recordaba como era sentirme como una niña pequeña escondida tras las páginas del libro y deseando que mis ojos pudieran leer las palabras mas rápido y seguir conociendo esta historia que recorre todas esas calles de Barcelona por las que he paseado tantas veces.

El Cementerio de los libros Olvidados introduce a Daniel Sempere en una apasionada e intrigante historia, donde hay pasión y amor, donde se descubre la original y magnífica forma de enlazar cada uno de los personajes involucrados en la historia y hacerlos muy cercanos al lector.

Muy entretenida la lectura de La sombra del viento que fue la primera novela para adultos de Carlos Ruíz Zafón. Su web oficial es:

Cine, Cine comercial

Milk [Gus Van Sant]

Imagen de previsualización de YouTube

«According to the film’s producers and others, some of the political intricacies were whittled from Dustin Lance Black’s script. Though the People’s Temple had supported Mr. Milk, for instance, Mr. Jones was largely cut. “It would take so much time to explain to people who Jim Jones was,” said Dan Jinks, who with his business partner Bruce Cohen are among the movie’s producers.

What remained, according to Mr. Jinks, was the story of a “regular guy” — before politics, Mr. Milk was best known as co-owner of a camera store in the Castro district of San Francisco — who decided to make a difference.

The documentary “The Times of Harvey Milk,” directed by Rob Epstein, won the Oscar for best feature documentary in 1985. “Execution of Justice,” shown on the Showtime cable network in 1999, was a drama based on the murders. « by New York Times.


Discurso de Gervasio Sanchez

“Les aseguro que no hay nada más bello en el mundo que ver a una víctima de la guerra perseguir la felicidad.
Es verdad que la guerra funde nuestras mentes y nos roba los sueños, como se dice en la película Cuentos de la luna pálida de Kenji Mizoguchi.
Es verdad que las armas que circulan por los campos de batalla suelen fabricarse en países desarrollados como el nuestro, que fue un gran exportador de minas en el pasado y que hoy dedica muy poco esfuerzo a la ayuda a las víctimas de la minas y al desminado.
Es verdad que todos los gobiernos españoles desde el inicio de la transición encabezados por los presidentes Adolfo Suarez, Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo, Felipe González, José María Aznar y José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero permitieron y permiten las ventas de armas españolas a países con conflictos internos o guerras abiertas.
Es verdad que en la anterior legislatura (de Zapatero) se ha duplicado la venta de armas españolas al mismo tiempo que el presidente incidía en su mensaje contra la guerra y que hoy fabriquemos cuatro tipos distintos de bombas de racimo cuyo comportamiento en el terreno es similar al de las minas antipersonas.

Es verdad que me siento escandalizado cada vez que me topo con armas españolas en los olvidados campos de batalla del tercer mundo y que me avergüenzo de mis representantes políticos.
Pero como Martin Luther King me quiero negar a creer que el banco de la justicia está en quiebra, y como él, yo también tengo un sueño: que, por fin, un presidente de un gobierno español tenga las agallas suficientes para poner fin al silencioso mercadeo de armas que convierte a nuestro país, nos guste o no, en un exportador de la muerte.
Muchas gracias”

Periodista y fotógrafo. Gervasio ha recibido el Premio Ortega y Gasset de fotografía. Este es un extracto de su discurso al recoger el galardón.