Argentine NoirMonday, October 14, 2019
In our last trip to Buenos Aires a few months ago my friend Fernando Velazco who works at the Teatro Colón told me that he had a friend, a friend of his girlfriend Romina, who was as obsessed as he was with film noir. Her name was Guillermina Cabarrús. He said if I had the time (I had it when I was told of the circumstances!) she wanted to pose for me and somehow show her extreme interest in noir.
Guillermina lived in Martínez so Velazco and I took a train on the Bartolomé Mitre line in Retiro and with my equipment safely in a shopping bag we found ourselves in front of a tiny house by the railroad tracks not far from the station.
We were greeted by a blonde woman at the door wearing a teddy. I was taken aback by the fact that she was blonde. I was expecting a noirish black-haired woman of the likes of Mexican María Felix. I told her of my disappointment.. She immediately informed me that her favourite American noir actress was Lizabeth Scott and that yes she was a blonde.
I set up my equipment and took quite a few photographs. Somehow even in this 21st century, the ones where Guillermina had a cigarette, these were the most effective.
We were offered some Argentine Old Smuggler Scotch which endeared me to her on the spot as this had been my father’s favourite drink second only to his preference for gin.
I asked her how it came to be that she had this film noir interest. She told me that as a little girl she had been taken to see a film with her parents that was called Dead Reckoning (1947) that billed Humphrey Bogart with Lizabeth Scott. Since that time she has seen as many noir films she could get her hands on.This was a tad difficult in Buenos Aires but she managed.
We left and in the train Velazco spoke little. It was dark. We were on a train.