September 5, 2013 |
BOGOTA, Colombia - With the 40th anniversary of the overthrow of Chilean President Salvador Allende approaching, it's evident that scars from the violence and human rights abuses committed during and after the military coup are still raw. The family of folk singer Victor Jara, one of the best known of the more than 4,000 people who were killed and disappeared in the Sept. 11, 1973 coup, filed a civil suit Wednesday night against one of his alleged killers, a former Chilean army lieutenant now living in Florida.
May 1, 2013 |
Somewhere between her Chilean family's life-or-death political realities and its intuitive, fantastical imagination is where Isabel Allende writes. Where she lives is the Bay Area, arriving in California about 25 years ago with a famous surname she's gone on to burnish, novel by novel. As perhaps befits an emigre author, Allende's books are routinely translated into two dozen languages. Here she muses in English about what the future of the written word holds for authors like her, and for the readers who love them.
April 27, 2013 |
Whatever happened to magic realism? The question arises when dipping into "Maya's Notebook," Isabel Allende's bruising, cinematically vivid new novel. It's an exercise in gritty realism rather than the fanciful folkloricism that Allende has been known for, accurately or not, since her fictional debut, "The House of the Spirits," 30 years ago. Magic realism always was more of a publishers' marketing coinage than an apt description of the works of the so-called Latin American Boom, which looms over Spanish-language literature like Easter Island monoliths: Mario Vargas Llosa, Julio Cortázar, Carlos Fuentes and Gabriel García Márquez.
April 18, 2013 |
Violeta Parra grew up in poverty in rural Chile and became an internationally recognized musician, her songs covered by such luminaries as Joan Baez and Shakira. With its grand arc, her story would fit nicely into the standard biopic format, but director Andrés Wood wisely opts for a more impressionistic approach in "Violeta Went to Heaven. " His feature matches its subject in turbulence and intensity, scrambling chronology in a revelatory way. Francisca Gavilán's lead performance burns with a dark radiance that's anything but self-congratulatory.
March 6, 2013 |
Beto Cuevas already is a rock star, a poet and a pop-culture idol in his native Chile. So what does he really want to do? Paint. The former lead singer for the band La Ley, from the late '80s to the early 2000s, and subsequently a successful solo artist, Cuevas is among South American rock's most durable talents. He's still recording, and he's a regular fixture at Latin music awards shows. PHOTOS: Iconic rock guitars and their owners But according to a story in the Mexico City newspaper El Universal, Cuevas is eager for his fans to see another side of him, as a visual artist who has accumulated a trove of paintings and drawings over the years.
February 9, 2013 |
In the United States it's business as usual for political ideas to be branded and sold like breakfast cereals. But when those marketing tools were used in Chile in 1988, the outcome reshaped an entire nation - and generated the stuff of high drama. Twenty-five years ago, a majority of Chileans just said no to extending the regime of Gen. Augusto Pinochet. Only it wasn't guerrilla revolutionaries that toppled the right-wing strongman. It was a slick, Madison Avenue-style advertising campaign that urged Chileans to vote "No" on Pinochet's plebiscite and yes for restoring democracy after 15 years of the general's autocratic rule.