Is it time for a remake? Or shall we just let this one slide quietly onto the rubbish heap of history?
“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
I think many writers suffer from the disease…of asking ourselves….why we are doing what we are doing….and what is the point.
Screenwriters too. We have our own twisted variations on the disease but it’s the same story.
Then every once in awhile you get lucky….you read a great script….you see a great movie (which you just know started with a great script) and your blood starts flowing faster, the neurons are firing faster in the part of your brain that is still functioning. Because you have just read – or seen – something that….really answers the question of why we (storytellers) do what we do (write or go through gesticulations and backflips to see our words transformed into images and coming alive on the small sceen or the large one) – because….
Because in simple English: it really works.
So that’s what a script should be. Not a good script but a great one – they should have that indefinable je ne sais quoi – they should somehow come together out of an accumulation of parts and disparate elements which takes the reader and/or the viewer on a journey that they can’t stop…all the way to the (whatever it may be) end.
Because…..forget all those fancy words and analyses and explanations by learned men and women in screenwriting books and classes and panels and all those clever and catchy and thoughtful things they say…
This film – THE BLACK HOLE – is one of that small (well, smaller than I wish – maybe not that small really but relative to the larger masses and oceans of garbage and crap and recycled filmic flotsam and jetsam) number of films….that work.
Watching it, part of me wonders whether the script worked as well as the movie before it was filmed….but another part of me really doesn’t give two cents or a nickel or a metaphorical shit because….it works.
So here it is….again….for all those who, like me, at some point ask those questions…and wonder what the answers may be, and when (if ever) they might come.
So sit down. Grab some popcorn oozing with delicious chemical butter and unmentionable other chemical products that are somehow both sweet and salty and spicy at the same time…and go to the movies.
Moments from la vida cotidiana en Zapopan. El Jardin Zoologico, the zoo, is only blocks away de mi cuarto. Almost every morning the lions wake me up with their rugidos. But when I walk there, it’s too hot and they are all sleeping. The only one who really looks awake and who of course I am drawn to, el animal plastico in the middle of the real ones, is –
Then my feet lead me downtown, al centro Zapopan, and I hear voices singing, an old traditional song, un corrido Mariachi tradicional, La Negra –
“Cuando me traes a mi negra –
Que la quiero ver aquí –
Con su rebozo de seda –
Que le traje de Tepíc!
My dark haired girl – I wish I could see her here – in her silk shawl – that I brought her from Tepíc!
And then I see them, Mariachis sindicales trabajadores – Mariachis who are union members, out on the streets, a day of solidarity for their sindicado –
– and I find myself smiling – my feet tapping out the rhythm, singing along, huarachando…vacilando.
Then another Sunday, another downtown, otro centro de otro pueblo, this one in Tapalpa, en las alturas de Jalisco sur, in the mountainous highlands of southern Jalisco. It is Sunday and a local Banda are in the central plaza combining traditional German polka-derived brass arrangements with rhythmic counterpoint from a whole melting pot of raices y tradiciones musicales – and the result is….pura musica….and pure joy.
In Guadalajara they say, “sin Mariachi….no hay fiesta!” – without Mariachi music….there’s no freaking party. It could be Mariachi or Banda or the polyrhythmic harp-based Son Jarocho from Vera Cruz but when you start thinking about it….and when you hear it….you understand why…
Sin musica, no hay fiesta.