THE MOTE IN ANOTHER’S EYE (THE CANARY)
Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo
Fernando Pérez finally launched his film about the childhood and adolescence of Martí. A golden age, like the creative mind of impact, the author of “Madagascar” and “Suite Havana” knew that in some way he would have to dismantle, unravel, demystify, to not end up filming another of those terrible patriotic poems once produced by the ICAIC (in one of them, at the time of the quasi-suicide in Dos Rios, Martí’s white horse was censored because no horse could be seen falling in the socialist Cuba of the seventies).
And I really don’t know whether or not Fernando Pérez manages to come through this lyrical launch through the premiere (by invitation) in the Chaplin cinema of “José Martí, The Eye of the Canary Islander,” photographed as usual by Raúl Pérez Ureta with a team (but not a budget) made up of all-stars.
Nor does the film, at this point, talk of cynicism. It is enough to talk of pleasure. The pleasure of the practical limit of a film whose critics in Cuba are sure to be timid; the pleasure of repair in that mediocre media that will be treated like dirt; the pleasure of even a bland sexual initiation by imitation, masturbatory lunatic who later will be an oratorical ace and world-class heart breaker (and crotch): so in the Metropolis as in the Monster, the women will reproach him with promiscuous letters, “Ay, Pepe of my soul,” “monster of iciness,” “all the evil you do to me,” and an epistolary et cetera.
In effect, the pubescent Martí masturbates live on a blank sheet of high resolution and surround sound. Fernando Pérez’s digitalized angel comes, and doesn’t come just once: the pixels of his fertile semen on the seats where the exhibitionists are struggling in the dark with their own fruition or friction, which is another type of fiction no less respectable. In fact, I don’t know a single Cuban woman who would risk, today, going alone to the movies in the capital (I have photos of vinyl generously drenched with the genome sperm of a “shooter”).
This precocious young Martí might give a heart attack to the frail ideal spread day by day through the Radio Progreso commentator Julio Batista. This boy who is delighted with a round black titty, bossed around by the college bullies or the barks of a lapdog, seeming to insinuate even a little homo-eroticism with his closest friend, unintentionally rewriting the most evangelized childhood in our History, according to the school books of the Repussycliba and the Revoillusion.
I think the interpreters of “José Martí, the Eye of The Canary” (like his performances, for now their surnames don’t say much): Rolando as Mariano, Broselianda as Leonor, Damián and Daniel in the respective roles of Martí and Martí. I think of their efforts to embody these trite moments in our hagiography as a nation. With such populist pressure I suppose it is very difficult to concentrate on earning their own salaries.
I also think of the opinion of one Magister Marti, as was the poet and essayist Cintio Vitier. Would he have been satisfied with this Martícaic, or, as happened with other heretical exegesis of the Apostle, would he distance himself in silence from another stain on our “sun of the moral world”? How much of the protected air of Martí did Antonio José Ponte breathe in this free version? How much inventory and how much invention will they take out, each on his own account, the antipodes essayists Rafeal and Fernando Rojos?
The truth is that perhaps none of this is of interest to anyone except me, nor do I care, but it stirs my curiosity as a client excluded from the Chaplin cinema by the political hordes of Hugo Pavón (I believe he now faces a legal demand from Octavo Cerco for his anti-constitutional action).
The truth is that perhaps everything is a pretext to shed light on a couple of little extreme scenes, resolved without much art, where the ego of the one who would be “the greatest of Cuban politicians,” at least during some planes, erases duty from his martyr’s body and homo-onanistically prioritizes pleasure.
I like this Martí de Pérez(for unexpected reasons of aesthetics), still being a Martí for pleasure, between stupidity and old age, with allegorical traces that try to be very critical in the Cuban context, like that little speech about the deficit of democracy…
In the end, “José Martí, the Eye of the Canary Islander” does not escape the pure symbolic representation of the great man of the upcoming movie: the passion of the patriot. Fernando struggled desperately, but it’s not easy to cut the marble statue of the Canary Islander to the level of our ordinary little Cubans on foot (and penis).