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article imageOp-Ed: Will Hollywood respect Gabriel Garcia Marquez's life-long wish?

By Scott Tuttle     Apr 19, 2014 in Entertainment
Just days after the death of Latin America's most beloved writer, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, talk is already circulating about whether or not his most revered work will be made into a movie.
Why now all of a sudden? Because it was the Nobel Prize Laureate's life-long wish that no filmmaker should ever touch One Hundred Years of Solitude.
"My reticence to make movies out of 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' and, in general, all my published works is due to my desire for direct communication with my readers," wrote Garcia Marquez. "By means of the letters I write they can imagine the characters to be as they wish, and not as the borrowed face of an actor."
Ultimately, he allowed several of his books to be made into movies. However, as a Latin American writer, he wanted his works to reflect the true essence of Latin America and almost always favored such filmmakers when it came to selling the rights. According to Professor Gerald Martin, he would sometimes even give away the rights for free to a Latin American filmmaker in order to boost the industry and help it become a little more competitive with Hollywood.
One major exception was his novel Love in the Time of Cholera, which was adapted by New Line Cinema and starred Javier Bardem. Nobody knows for sure why he let this one go to Hollywood, but some believe it was because his wife, Mercedes Barcha Pardo, grew tired of his "relentless philanthropy" and wanted him to do something that would allow her to put away money for the family. Having once referred to Love in the Time of Cholera as "her [Mercedes'] book," it may be that he made this exception only for her.
One Hundred Years of Solitude, however, was the one book on which he would never budge.
"They would cast someone like Robert Redford and most of us do not have relatives who look like Robert Redford," said Garcia Marquez.
As the novel takes place in Macondo, which is clearly based on his hometown of Aracataca, Colombia, some believe the author also feared that filmmakers would shoot the movie there. Perhaps he didn't want filmmakers and journalists interviewing people and digging around for answers in his hometown.
Now that "Gabo" has passed on, so has his control over his work. It will be up to his estate what happens to his novel. Speculators are already putting together their fantasy rosters of actors and directors, and undoubtedly some would-be filmmaker is already counting his money. A recent article by Yahoo made a number of suggestions for which directors could capture Gabo's "magical realism" the best, clearly with little care over what the author wanted.
Those who respect the work of Gabriel Garcia Marquez should also respect his wishes by leaving his book alone. Furthermore, any movie made from One Hundred Years of Solitude, especially now, cannot possibly have true artistic integrity. Why? Because clearly the filmmaker would have no respect for the story's creator and only be trying to capitalize by riding the wave of Garcia Marquez's recent surge in popularity following his death.
To those who care about cinema, to those who care about literature, and to those who care about artistic integrity: please do not support sell-out filmmakers who stoop to the level of making this movie. Respect Gabo's dying wishes and allow your imagination to make the movie in your head by reading the book.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
More about Gabriel Garcia Marquez, robert redford, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Movie, Hollywood
 
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