Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Holy Girl/La Nina Santa -Lucrecia Martel


Today I want to write about the second movie by Argentinian filmmaker Lucrecia Martel.

The Holy Girl/La nina santa.
Lucrecia Martel, 2004
Argentina, 104 minutes

Lucrecia Martel writes and directs her movies. It's cinema d'auteur. The films are set on the North of Argentina where she's from. She was born in Salta and if you pay attention and know enough Spanish you can hear a slightly different accent that the Argentinian accent from Buenos Aires (porteno) usually heard in Argentinian movies.

This film is set in a crumbling Hotel Termas where a medical convention is being hosted.
As a child, Lucrecia used to stay with her parents in this hotel on winter vacations.

The film captures the lives of Amalia and Josefina, two teenagers who are best friends.

Amalia is the hotel owner's daughter. Her mother is played by Mercedes Moran, an actress that we encountered before on 'La Cienaga." She is a divorced woman who is very closed to her brother (Alejandro Urdapilleta.) They have an interesting relationship. Together they run the hotel as a pair of children-grown up adults.

The two girls attend Catholic groups and Catechism lessons. This is based on Lucrecia's life too. She used to attend these type of groups.

After an encounter with Doctor Jano (Carlos Belloso) Amalia will get in touch with her own sexuality and would like to deliver him from inappropriate behaviour.

Monday, February 1, 2010


The great Argentinian writer Tomas Eloy Martinez died yesterday in Buenos Aires.

When my editor wrote me an e-mail telling me that Tomas Eloy Martinez had died I got goose bumps. He was one of my favorite novelists. He was also a well-known journalist writing for many newspapers. I tried to interview him last year for the Daily News/Hora Hispana after he published "Purgatorio" but I didn't succeed. I didn't know then, that he was not living in New Jersey anymore or teaching at Rutgers University. He was living again in Argentina and he was battling cancer.

His novels are translated into many languages, so i suggest that if you never have read " La Novela de Peron"/ "The Peron Novel" about Domingo Peron or "Santa Evita" about Evita Peron please go ahead and pick up a copy. You will not regret it. You will be immersed in the world of Peronism and Argentina's history by the hand of a great novelist and you won't be able to stop reading.

He met Peron and interviewed him so he used his tapes to create a portrait of a very controversial man who still has a big presence in Argentina.

"Santa Evita" is Evita's life before and after she died. Yes, you will not believe what happened to her body after she died. Sometimes life doesn't seem verosimil. The flames that Evita ignited didn't die with her and when she died her body was robbed and finished in different hands. If you want to know more about the real Evita, not the one in the Broadway show but the human being you have to read it.

Another book I enjoyed is "El Vuelo de la Reina" /"The Flight of the Queen".