Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Eduardo del Llano Group

The exhibit of young filmmakers, the Hip Hop concerts in Madriguera, or the Poetry Festival Without End, are like a needle – impossible to find for some – in the middle of the overflowing and censored haystack that has become Cuban culture. So yesterday I arrived at the Eduardo del Llano group at the “Fresa y Chocolate” center, to see clips of Deep Purple, laugh myself silly at the stories, and listen to the songwriters, among whom, incredibly, was El Ciro.

I first met Edward through his book, The Ten Apostates, which I loved, paid for, and of course lost. Later I saw the film Brainstorm and, after an exhaustive search on the computers of all my friends, I managed to find the rest of the sagas of Nicanor*. In his group he had managed to bring together the small Nicanors who survive in Havana, the new men who are so new they are lost in time and in the unreality of a country where novelty is an attack and art an ideological deviation. The only country in the world where revolutions last half a century, which is good to demonstrate the relativity of time, but very bad for those of us trapped in it.

Coincidentally I learned, also yesterday, that a Matanzas poet translated the verses of Vysostki into Spanish; surely the Minister of Culture kept the information to himself, which is quite inconsistent with his function. The translated verses are about the songs he wrote with another songwriter in Havana. One more proof that Nicanor will always be alone, and that he is the new man, or his paradox, the abandoned man.

Here is one of my favorites from the short film InterMezzo:

Translator’s note:
Eduardo del Llano is a Cuban filmmaker. He has made a series of films featuring the character Nicanor O’Donnell, a Cuban “everyman,” his name notwithstanding.

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