CHRONICLE OF A BOY ALONE, is an indictment of a fascist regime running roughshod over its most vulnerable citizens, its children. Focusing on the bleak life of eleven-year-old bad boy Polin... See full summary »
A small incident over two neighbors common wall sparks a conflict which affects the intimacy of the view over the chimney; the protagonist sparks a conflict and with paranoiac obsession destroys everyday life.
In 1840's Buenos Aires, Argentina, a beautiful young socialite named Camila falls in love with Ladislao, a Jesuit priest. After several failed attempts at fighting his own feelings, he ... See full summary »
"Boquitas Pintadas" has been absurdly translated as "Heartbreak Tango" (in reality, the title refers to the lyrics of a fox-trot incomparably sung by the great tango singer Carlos Gardel and known to every Argentinian). "Boquitas Pintadas" is the best work by Argentine novelist Manuel Puig. It is a perfect novel; nothing can be added or taken away. It uses (in a natural way) a variety of literary techniques, from chapters where what characters speak and think are given equal time to question-and-answer sessions. Parts of the novel read as a movie script (Puig's ambition, never realized was to become a movie director or screenwriter). It reconstructs in an uncannily accurate and evocative way life in an Argentine small town. It is clear and precise as clockwork, yet also very moving.
To film a work such as this is a tall order. Director Leopoldo Torre Nilsson, by this time back from his edgy, experimental work of the sixties was doing mainstream movies, "mainstream" not understood negatively; his mastery of the movie medium was total and his choice of subjects was always ambitious. The script follows closely the novel except for some simplifications and added scenes such as a dream cemetery sequence whose inclusion is not totally justified. Time and place have been lovingly reconstructed, and cinematography and music are excellent. Good acting from all concerned. Puig himself collaborated in the script and considered this movie the best screen adaptation of his work.
Most Americans that are aware of Manuel Puig know him through one of his lesser works, "The Kiss of the Spider Woman" and the even inferior 1985 movie of the same title by Hector Babenco (which was intensely disliked by Puig). "Boquitas PIntadas" is far superior stuff. Watch the movie if you can (that may not be easy, there is apparently no DVD playable in Region 1) then read the novel, if possible in its original Spanish.
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