They were all him.Tuesday, November 20, 2018
|Geraldine Chaplin & Carlos Saura (no credit found)|
As a little boy in Buenos Aires in the late 40s one of my heroes was Charlie Chaplin. His name sounds a lot more delightful in Argentine Spanish as we called him Carlitos Chaplín. Perhaps because Chaplin’s early films had no sound he was that more appreciated. His films did not need subtitles.
In later years I transferred my interest to Chaplin’s daughter and since I am an admirer of Carlos Saura I have seen all the films she made with him and in particular with his 1976 film Cría Cuervos. It is only now while researching this blog that I have found out that Chaplin and Saura have been partners for a long time.
When I saw this lovely short essay (below) by Eduardo Galeano on Geraldine Chaplin I smiled. I also believe that these little essays from a book called Bocas del Tiempo (Voices of Time) which he wrote in 2006, with another book Mujeres that Galeano wrote before he died in April 2015, somehow reveal an idea, a method of counteracting our smartphone-generated short attention span. I have read at least four of these Galeano books with short essays as well as those of Mario Benedetti. Of course both Julio Cortázar and Jorge Luís Borges excelled at short stories.
The Movies - Eduardo Galeano
Geraldine estaba empezando a trabajar en una película, en una aldea perdida en las montañas de Turquía.
La primera tarde, salió a caminar. No había nadie, casi nadie, en las calles. Pocos hombres, mujer ninguna. Pero a la vuelta de una esquina se topó, de sopetón, con un enjambre de muchachos.
Geraldine miró a los costados, miró hacia atrás: estaba cercada, no tenía escapatoria. La garganta se negó a gritar. Sin palabras, ofreció lo que tenía: el reloj, el dinero.
Con gestos, los muchachos le dijeron que no, que no era eso. Y hablando en algo más o menos parecido al inglés, le preguntaron si de veras ella era la hija de Chaplin.
Geraldine, atónita, asintió. Y recién entonces advirtió que los muchachos se habían pintado bigotitos de carbón y cada uno tenía una rama a modo de bastón..
Y empezó la función.
Y todos fueron él.
Geraldine was starting to work on a film in a lost village in the mountains of Turkey.
On the first afternoon she went for a walk. There was nobody, almost nobody around on the streets. Few men, no women. But upon turning a corner she suddenly ran into a swarm of boys.
She looked to the sides and behind. She was surrounded. She could not get away. She could not scream. Without words she offered them her watch and money.
With gestures the boys signalled that was not so. And then in speaking in something that resembled English they asked her if she really was Charley Chaplin’s daughter.
Geraldine, startled admitted so. And it was only then that she noticed that they boys had painted on themselves little moustaches with charcoal and they had sticks that were cane-like.
The show started. They were all him.