April 20, 2013 |
The stage lights rise, and Michelle Bachelet - former political prisoner, torture victim and socialist president of Chile from 2006 to 2010 - braces herself to deliver a dramatic farewell speech. "Pardon me if I offend the fascists," she tells her audience in Spanish, "or if I offend those that want a happy ending. But I prefer bittersweet endings. " In the compromise-seeking world of contemporary Chilean politics, such a declaration might be tantamount to career suicide. But when Bachelet's fiery language is spoken by three young women in Guillermo Calderón's play "Discurso," the actors tell us, "it's as if someone were putting words in my mouth.
April 8, 2013 |
SANTIAGO, Chile - Chilean authorities on Monday exhumed the body of Pablo Neruda to check claims by a former chauffeur that the Nobel Prize-winning poet may have been killed by government agents shortly after the 1973 overthrow of his friend, President Salvador Allende. Under a special tent and wearing protective clothing, a team of forensic pathologists that included a U.S. toxicologist gathered in the coastal resort town of Isla Negra to oversee the exhumation. Neruda died on Sept.
March 29, 2013 |
Travelers who buy a ticket to Argentina , Chile or Colombia on Chilean carrier LAN Airlines have an opportunity to add on a domestic flight for $27 or less, but only until Monday. It's a cheap way to get to Patagonia's glaciers or the incomparable Iguazu Falls on the Argentina-Brazil border. The deal: The offer is part of a wider airfare sale by LAN and affiliate TAM Airlines. It's good for round-trip flights starting at $1,049 per person between Los Angeles and Santiago, Chile, (add a domestic flight for $27)
March 9, 2013 |
When you tell somebody about a Hunan restaurant, always begin with the steamed fish head. The fish head will be large, probably from an enormous carp or similar freshwater species, thus comical, and it will be frosted with the chopped blend of dried, fresh and fermented chiles that give Hunanese cooking its reputation for head-snapping heat. You will be able to chat about prying off chunks of soft meat, scraping down silvery skin and digging around in the cranium for gooey cartilage and bits of custardy brain.
March 7, 2013 |
In the video for their hit single "Ciervos" (Stags), members of the Chilean electro-pop band Astro wave spears and romp around in furry pelts and animal skulls as if part of some Bronze Age lost tribe. It's intended to be the last word in low-budget primitive cool, Andean style. But for viewers of a certain demographic profile, the imagery may summon surreal memories of Peter Gabriel, his face camouflaged like an African mask, making tortured connections with shrieking simians. No doubt the similarities between "Ciervos" and Gabriel's "Shock the Monkey," an early '80s cry of inter-species angst, are inadvertent.
February 28, 2013 |
Roasted chiles are great for adding wonderfully rich flavors and depth to a recipe, and they're amazingly easy to prepare. To roast peppers, place whole fresh peppers on a rack over a stove-top burner (if you're roasting large peppers that will fit directly onto the burner grate without slipping through, you can skip the rack) and turn on the burner. Rotate the peppers over the fire using a set of tongs just until the outer skin blackens and blisters and becomes charred on all sides.
February 14, 2013 |
Say yes to "No. " An entire country did, causing a political earthquake that uprooted a tenacious dictatorship and formed the basis of this smart, involving and provocative new film. Starring Gael García Bernal, "No" is inspired by a real-life 1988 scenario that marked the beginning of the end for Chile's brutal Augusto Pinochet dictatorship. It's an irresistible fable of sorts about the power of counter-intuitive thinking, but it is also something more. As put together by some of Chile's top cinematic talents, a hit at Cannes and one of the five foreign-language Oscar nominees this year, "No" is also unexpectedly amusing and as savvy as it gets about the psychology of the political process.
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.
January 31, 2013 |
Ways of Going Home A Novel Alejandro Zambra Farrar, Straus and Giroux: 160 pp., $23 In an age when writing careers can be born on the strength of 140-character tweets, massive word counts aren't required to make an impression. While many novelists create doorstop-sized statements in their reach for something profound and canonical, Chilean poet and novelist Alejandro Zambra is an adherent to the idea that less is more. His previous novels, "The Secret Lives of Trees" and "Bonsai," earned acclaim while coming in at fewer than 100 pages, and his latest effort, "Ways of Going Home," is Melville-esque by comparison, topping out at 160. But though the book looks lean, don't mistake it for something slight, as Zambra thoughtfully - even beautifully - navigates through larger themes of loss, political oppression and the nature of writing against the backdrop of Chile during and after the rule of dictator Augusto Pinochet.
January 26, 2013 |
A quick note on heat: Capsaicin is found in the inner ribs, or veins, of chiles, not just the seeds. To minimize the heat (why you'd ever want to do that, I don't know), remove the ribs with the seeds. And when working with chiles, be careful. The capsaicin in the oils can burn your hands and eyes. Wear gloves when handling the hottest chiles, and work in a well-ventilated area. Chile heat varies by type, with Anaheim and pasilla on the milder end and jalapeños and serranos packing somewhat more of a punch.