October 27, 2020

Coronavirus: Cultural survival kit for confinement (day 27) | Babelia


BOOK: Pomponio Flato’s amazing journeyby Eduardo Mendoza

Cultural survival kit for the running of the bulls (day 27)



Taking advantage of the fact that it is Good Friday, let’s imagine that the fifth evangelist was Eduardo Mendoza and not J. J. Benítez. How would the author of No news from gurb? What how? He already told it in 2008, in Pomponio Flato’s amazing journey, which is the Gospel according to San Eduardo Mendoza Garriga, a serious man from Barcelona who in 2016 he won the Cervantes award. There would be a reason. By the grace of God? Maybe. His ways are inscrutable. The thing is that his amazing trip It tells the story of a Roman patrician who traveled to Palestine in the 1st century in search of a fountain whose waters lengthen life but shorten intelligence. Once in Pilate’s domain, he runs into an enigma: the carpenter from Nazareth – a certain Joseph – has been accused of murder. Flato will try to prove his innocence with the help of a peculiar character: the accused’s adoptive son – a certain Jesus – who, like all children at his age, believes that his biological father – whom he has very idealized – is almighty.

Halfway between Flavio Josefo and the Monty Python, Plinio the Elder, Conan Doyle and Asterix, Eduardo Mendoza splashes the most crazy situations with literal dialogues from the Bible, as if someone were taking notes on the ground for the fantastic four: Mateo, Marcos, Lucas and Juan. The land is important because a key to the investigation is real estate speculation: you can imagine the price of a square meter when the land is holy. This brilliant novel, which is read in the length of a Via Crucis, will restore faith in fiction to those over 33 years of age. Believers will tone their spirits and non-believers will receive plenary indulgence (if not from the Holy See – atheism has its disadvantages – at least from the headquarters of the Planeta group). Peace be with all of them. Javier Rodríguez Marcos

Pomponio Flato’s amazing journey. Eduardo Mendoza. Seix Barral, 2008. Available in print and electronic edition at All your books, Amazon Y Fnac.

A DISC: Love is hellby Ryan Adams

Cultural survival kit for the running of the bulls (day 27)



Now that mourning for the everyday is part of our day to day, now that we live, at times, in a muffled ex-reality more typical of a rare novel by JG Ballard than of what until recently we considered the world out there, perhaps we better empathize with the halo of seclusion and end of the world that runs through the most intimate of the works of Ryan Adams, the unsaleable, according to his record label of the moment, Love is hell. Conceived as a diptych – two EPs of eight songs with two bonus tracks each – in the most sadly brilliant time of his career, Love is hell explores the abyss of rupture from a lucidity that dares to reinvent classics (such as Wonderwall, in a version so superior to the original that Liam Gallagher decided that from then on he could consider it his) and to lengthen the shadow of his peculiar Americanshoegazer even the apocalyptically charming (World war 24).

The result gives off an elegant and at times painful texture of the universe in suspension (The Shadowlands but also City Rain, City Streets and the destroyed calm of Avalanche) at the same time pleading and monochrome indomitable that, at times, lights up (Thank You Louise and above all, English Girls Approximately, very Gram Parsons after Jeff Buckley, with Marianne Faithfull in the backing vocals). Like a good friend, Love is hell He holds out his hand so you don’t fall. Adams himself considered it a kind of “damaged and complex” sequel to its highly acclaimed Heartbreaker (2000) and, over time, it has become a fascinating snowball within a snowball, an album in which what is feared is sung from the very heart of what is feared (Afraid Not Scared), trying not to make it seem like the collapse is right there (This House Is Not For Sale) but cannot prevent it from being. Like everything around us these days. Laura Fernandez

Love is hell. Ryan Adams. UMG Recordings, 2004. The album is available at Spotify and other platforms.

A MOVIE: Marsby Ridley Scott

Cultural survival kit for the running of the bulls (day 27)



No one should ever be left behind. The message, which previously sounded like a ship captain’s harangue, today nevertheless becomes fundamental. In Mars, an immense storm forces a crew to flee their station on Mars, presuming one of its members dead, who, in order to start the action, has not actually died. That biologist whom you embody Matt Damon becomes the Martian from the original title (The Martian), because it will fight to survive with the few provisions it has: it creates an orchard, it manages to create water, it maintains a blog and, above all, it struggles to communicate with the Earth and warn them that it is alive. The big of Mars It is not in how the nations lean to rescue the castaway, but in the teachings that the patio receives about the complexity of the act of communicating. First, due to the lack of means, which sharpens the ingenuity – to delusional degrees – of the Martian of adoption. Second, because of the distance, which makes dialogue impossible, something that in other films closer to science fiction, this is solved without any scientific criteria. Mars in the end, it bets on the idea that the human being can only survive with organization, inventiveness and communication, and Scott, who directed almost by rebound – he was not the intended director – this cocktail of Apollo 13 Y Castaway, is right in the middle with an actor like Matt Damon, who makes credible the man holding on to a thread of hope. BTW, movie to recommend the next time someone complains of poor coverage. Gregorio Belinchón

Mars. Ridley Scott. 2015. The film is available in Vodafone, iTunes Y Rakuten.

A SERIES: The Bold Type

Cultural survival kit for the running of the bulls (day 27)



Like Anna Wintour, editor of the US edition of the magazine Vogue, was the inspiration for the character he plays Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada, the editor of Cosmopolitan Between 2012 and 2016, Joanna Coles, is the real reference for the boss of the three protagonist friends of The Bold Type. Of course, Coles acts as producer and supervisor of the series, so the result is much more flattering for her than the film for Wintour. Not for light and carefree The Bold Type it has less merit, and more at times when the drama and density of day to day overwhelm. With an optimistic general tone, the series stands out from other female stories because its young protagonists tend to put their professional goals ahead of their personal ones, and they have internal sorority in their daily lives. For them, love affairs are only one more aspect of life, and not the center of it, as it happens in many fictions focused on the female audience. They are women who doubt, make mistakes, are afraid, and for whom the mobile is an extension of themselves. They look for their place in the world (and who doesn’t), and they do it helped by a boss who works as a mentor. Furthermore, the series strives to portray (albeit with some inevitable idealism) the way the written press works, with the format’s fears of recent changes and its need for adaptation. Not everything is laughter, fashion and lightness in this series. Her stories also cover serious topics, from breast cancer to sexual abuse (with one of her plots they got ahead of Me Too), the problems of immigrants or the exploration of sexual identity. Natalia Marcos

The Bold Type. Sarah Watson. Freeform. 2017. The first three seasons of the series are available at Amazon Prime Video.

A COMIC: The teeth of eternity, by Jorge García and Gustavo Rico

Cultural survival kit for the running of the bulls (day 27)



It is known that superheroes are the mythology of our time. New gods that move to the rhythm of rock while the old ones still decide whether they prefer Beethoven or Wagner, but who in the end have known how to mix with their parents in healthy noise. The pages of Marvel welcomed Spiderman as well as Thor or Hercules, demonstrating good divine camaraderie and, incidentally, the deep relationship that bound them. But mythology has not only intruded into the quintessential comic book genre, it has also been the protagonist of many approaches to comics. If you guys are more of the stories of aesires, vanires, jotuns, Valkyries and other protagonists of Norse mythology, have an excellent option in The teeth of eternity, by Jorge García and Gustavo Rico. García is one of the best scriptwriters in Spanish comics, who knows how to take advantage of fictions to take further reflection to his field. The story of King Gylfi is an attractive wrapper to talk about universal themes such as friendship, betrayal and lies, which is based on the exceptional work of Gustavo Rico. Partially published almost a decade ago, the cartoonist took advantage of the long time it took to complete the work to completely redraw it, with overwhelming visual and compositional power, heir to Jack Kirby, Segio Toppi or Javier Olivares, driven by a color treatment shocking, which becomes a conductor of epics and epics. Vignettes that seem to explode before our eyes, mythical struggles that shake the edges of the vignette, characters that radiate a force that dazzles the most seasoned reader. A comic to enjoy the myths and, for a while, to believe in the gods again. Álvaro Pons

The teeth of eternity. Jorge García and Gustavo Rico. Norma Editorial, 2016. The comic is available at All your books Y Amazon.

A VIDEOGAME: Bioshock

Cultural survival kit for the running of the bulls (day 27)



When it appeared in 2007, the video game Bioshock, by Ken Levine, was a thump on the table. In the game we are a man whose plane crashes in the middle of the sea and, by chance, ends up in a solitary lighthouse. From there, a small submarine sends you to the true protagonist of the game: Rapture, the underwater city, once splendid and refuge for the best minds in the world but today plagued by a plague that drives its people crazy and prey to devastation. There, in the ruins of the silent and threatening Rapture, we will experience a first-person adventure loaded with tension, action and a dose of terror. But the game does not end on its adrenaline surface: Bioshock he dares to dive (never better said) into serious philosophical concepts, which pivot around Ayn Rand’s objectivism, and call into question what we understand by society and its basic pillars. A game that marked an era. Jorge Morla

Bioshock. Kevin Levine. 2K, 2007. The game is available at Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, iOS and Nintendo Switch.

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