Sunday, 31 March 2013

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

a film by Robert Zemeckis

“Hollywood, 1947.” I just learned from Wikipedia that Roger Rabbit’s animation was actually created in England as Richard Williams, the animation director, refused to work in Hollywood. 25 years later, it’s still the most successful animated/live action film ever made.

Why Don’t You Do Right? Probably the most famous scene from the film, with Bob Hoskins as Eddie Valiant and Stubby Kaye as Marvin Acme. Mae Questel voiced Betty Boop and Amy Irving provided the singing voice of Jessica Rabbit.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

North Shore Clean Up

I don’t like truisms. This is one: People like to be organised. That includes me. I would not do much if not for schedules and deadlines. Especially here in Fuerteventura. What’s the hurry? Tranquilo.

Here’s an example. Like the last year’s event, North Shore Clean Up 2013 was organised by Clean Ocean Project. Unlike the last year’s event, no particular time/place was assigned. Instead, people were free to choose their favourite beach, time etc. The “catch” was supposed to be left at one of several “dirty points” along the North Coast to be picked up on Monday 25 March. Good? Good.

Maybe not brilliant though. I know several people who would turn up for a cleaning in a company but do not bother to do it on their own. After all, nothing prevents us to go and clean any beach any time we like. And do we do that? Hell no.

Yesterday I went for some beach cleaning on my own. About midday, I parked my bike near the Corralejo harbour and started to move towards El Charco de Bristol. I filled three bin liners with rubbish. (A tip: don’t take big bags on Fuerteventura beach, you will look and feel like a beginner kite surfer.) I did not meet a single soul.

According to the Clean Ocean Project map, one of the “dirty points” was on a dirt track somewhere near the wind turbines. I saw two lonely black bags there. I was not sure of their origin but I left my rubbish at that spot anyway.

On my way back, I noticed two people near the harbour picking up rubbish. So I was not the only one on that stretch after all.

Today, all four of us went to clean the beach near the lighthouse in El Cotillo. Once again, it looked like there were no other volunteers around. Although that particular stretch of the beach is cleaner than the one along Paseo Maritimo in Corralejo, it is still full of broken glass. It could be that it was tidied up yesterday. At some point, the Clean Ocean Project truck appeared on a dirt road. I used the opportunity to ask the driver where exactly we have to leave the bags, and got the answer.

After finishing our dirty work, we came back to the lighthouse. A group of men and women in colourful costumes arrived in a bus and gave a short performance. They turned out to be Agrupación Folclorica La Rosa de Fabelo from Puerto del Rosario. I thought it was very nice of them, to sing and dance for us the Sunday beach cleaners, even though they may not realise it.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Nunca es tarde

by Canteca de Macao

As is the case with all their music, Nunca es Tarde is freely available for download from Canteca de Macao website. After listening to it for a year, I finally got hold of the real thing. It is as diverse and fresh as their last album, with some arrangements getting a bit more sophisticated without losing focus and danceability. Odd and shifting time signatures (Fuente de plata, Tierra, Chacarera), reggae (Desnúdame, Tu voz), rumba (Lo más bello), salsa (Libre, Perdío) and, of course, cumbia, all in Canteca’s inimitable style. And when they speak of love, which is often, they do it without hypocrisy, banality or profanity. Could you wish for more?

cuélate en mi piel, desátame,
quiero sentir todo tu ser, quiero sentir y enloquecer
y abrázame y no me sueltes ya,
hoy soy presa, soy presa de tu ser,
esencia, esencia de mujer.

Quiero sentir las cosas que un día
habían dejado de existir,
enfermedad que habita en mi
que hacía estragos y no me deja vivir,
y bésame y acúnate esta noche conmigo
y déjate que por un día lo mismo lo olvido.
Bésame y acúnate esta noche conmigo
y déjate que por un día lo mismo lo olvido.

Actually, there is more. To my surprise, the box contained (not mentioned by Amazon) a bonus DVD. A 55-minute documentary by Miguel Sanchez Maccas is dedicated to Canteca’s modus operandi (copyleft, crowdfunding etc.); I would dismiss it “for fans only” variety if not for Lo más bello performed live in La Fugitiva during the album presentation. It also has a promotional short and the title track music video.

  1. Nunca es tarde
  2. Lo más bello
  3. Fuente de plata
  4. Libre
  5. Tu voz
  6. Desfase
  7. Tierra
  8. Desnúdame
  9. Perdío
  10. Chacarera

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Friends, Lovers, Chocolate

by Alexander McCall Smith

Just like in the previous book, the Sunday Philosophy Club never meets, but I’m beginning to warm to Isabel Dalhousie. Maybe this is because she started to acquire some sort of third dimension.

The title is rather misleading: the novel talks a lot about friends and friendship, much less about lovers, and almost nothing about chocolate. Which is a shame.

Other cultures had much more elaborate forms for the recognition and cultivation of friendship. In South America, she had read, two men becoming friends might undergo a form of baptism ceremony over a tree trunk, symbolically becoming godchildren of the tree and therefore, in a sense, brothers to each other. That was strange, and we were just too busy to arrange ceremonies of that sort; meeting for coffee was easier. And in Germany, where form is preserved, there would be linguistic milestones in the development of friendship, with the change to the familiar du address. Of course one should not too quickly start to use the first names of friends in Germany; in some quarters a good few years might be required. Isabel smiled as she remembered being told by a professor from Freiburg of how, after several years of knowing a colleague, they were still on formal terms. Then, one evening, when the colleague had invited him to his house to watch an important football match on television, in a moment of great excitement he had shouted out ‘Oh look, Reinhard, Germany has scored a goal!’ and had immediately clasped a hand to his mouth, embarrassed by the solecism. He had called his colleague by his first name, and they had known one another for only a few years! Fortunately, the visitor had taken a generous view of this lapse, and they had agreed to move to first-name terms there and then, drinking a toast to friendship, as is appropriate in such circumstances.
Isabel had been intrigued. ‘But what happens,’ she asked, ‘if two colleagues agree to address one another as du and then they fall out over something? Does one revert to the old formal usage and go back to sie?’
Her friend had pondered this for a while. ‘There has been such a situation,’ he said. ‘I gather that it occurred in Bonn, amongst professors of theology. They had to go back to the formal means of address. It caused a great many ripples and is still talked about. In Bonn.’

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Tacones lejanos

a film by Pedro Almodóvar

Last week, La Sexta was treating us to Universo Almodóvar. By some reason, this film was shown even without Spanish subtitles, so there are, um, gaps in my understanding of the dialogue. So what. Bold colours, Miles Davis’s Sketches of Spain, great actors. The further highlights include one of the most funny lovemaking scenes I’ve ever seen; Rebeca’s confession live on TV (with sign language interpretation); and a totally unexpected prison-yard dance.

Lady prisoners dance the merengue: Pecadora by Los Hermanos Rosario.