With Everyone and for the Cinema of Everyone

27 02 2010

MELESIO, CARÁ

Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

The former CIA agent in “In silence that had to be” has returned once again to Havana. A tall, elegant Reinaldo. A neat post-revolution Miravalles, and without the camouflage suit. With the look of a Havana bug. With his gentle peasant smile that survived the exile. Still, in the heart of a Cuba that applauds nervously in Chaplin cinema, in spite of the Security, the opening speech of the Director Rolando Diaz: the save-able brother of our Judas-Jesus (RIP), the prodigal son who regrets nothing and offers no one forgiveness (but an entry permit into the country).

Cynical surroundings. Legalistic remoteness. Mercenaries’ melodrama of fibs and Melesio’s magic, cará.

Reinaldo Miravalles remembers the Thursdays at half past eight of eighties socialism, on TVC’s channel 6. Pretend parties filmed with wooden cameras, but with great talent for the enjoyment of the Cuban family (now all those people collect cheques like telenovela technicians or Univision’s reporters).

If not for Melesio. If not for Mom. If not for Eloisa Alvarez Guedes. If not for Tomas Gutierrez Alea, who brought you slices of genius in a thousand and one black and white movies. Rancher who fled in the last inning and swam across to the old jetty. If not for the epic oedipal film studios of MININT. If not for political parody of Alice in the macabre village Wonderland.

Melisio, dear heart. How Cuba misses you despite the security barrier that expels screaming the youth from Chaplin Cinema. Apologies to this juventud.cu for not entering to see you in action, in activation: they are young and memory has only a future, the so-called Cinema of the Revolution for them may as well be the name of a pizzeria at 12th and 23rd.

Melesio, dear one, bewildered by our new style of apartheid in 35 millimeter: operating with civilian clothes (and the complicit help of the uniformed walkie-talkies), with the lush looks of Lucky Luciano, and an armored van with green license plates on the other side just in case… (All documented in an underground video-clip, perhaps for display at the next festival.)

Cuba as crass crisis. Criminal caricature scripted by no one, because there is not even a Great Narrator. Cuba as a digital prison in a video-beam from the Young Filmmakers exhibition of 2010. Aldeano panic. Aldeano country. Quasi-octegenarian guests of honor. What can one say? It is the price of doing without the State Institution.

Melesio, sweetheart. Ancient delegate who fortunately still has no problem with the G-2. The hug we should share is for the moment postponed until we live together in a less pathetic Havana. And less fucked as well.

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