Friday, September 9, 2011

Made Up Dreams

Made Up Dreams (2008)
Mentiras piadosas

How does the Cuban community in Miami deal with homosexuality now? Better than Castro did who exiled all of them out of the country?

Were gay Cuban writers like Reinaldo Arenas discriminated against by fellow Latinos in Miami and NYC after Castro’s Revolution?

Such intra-racial prejudice is nothing new; it still exists within the Black communities today, even during the Harlem Renaissance.

GLBT discrimination is just as much or even more intense within the Anglo-community with DOMA, DADT and ENDA seemingly always in the headlines.

So it’s with a certain amount of interest that I see the Argentine director Diego Sabanés’ film “Mentiras piadosas” (Made Up Dreams) (2008) has been chosen for today’s scheduled film at the classic art deco Tower Theater in the Miami Dade College Events Calendar.

According to the online blurb, Made Up Dreams is a Comedy/Drama from Argentina, 2009. 35 mm. 100 min. Spanish with English subtitles.

When Jorge and Nora’s brother Pablo vanishes in Paris, they make up stories about his adventures to tell their mother in order to protect their world of childish illusion, even at the cost of their personal desires.

As they do so, their home is gradually dismantled to maintain a Buñuel-like dream that turns later into a ghost story, similar to The Exterminating Angel, El ángel exterminador (1962).

Is there anything that would help us ascertain whether this film has any gay elements to it? How much of the story is real and how much just made-up and imaginary? Imaginary for who and for what purpose? The family, the brother and sister…or perhaps the supposed gay brother Jorge?

Is Jorge telling Patricia the truth about having received all those letters from Pablo? What about Pablo's violin teacher? It seems odd that none of his students or colleagues would miss him if he disappeared; it would make sense for them to contact Pablo's family.

It seems that the point of the narrative is to explore the family's entanglement in this fictional epistolary reality but it seems even more possible that Jorge invents Pablo as his gay double and thus avoids any family problems involving his queer lifestyle.

For example, there’s the first pic from the video clip above, the one showing Jorge gazing at himself in the mirror. The pose and style is somewhat reminiscent of Oscar Wilde’s story, “The Portrait of Dorian Gray.” Jorge seems to be pondering his Other, much as Dorian Gray did in his closety attic.

And then, there’s the second pic with Patricia posing the question of Pablo as Double, gay Other, mysterious Doppleganger in their little made-up game who Jorge seems to have forgotten or grown out of or no longer is in love with?

Patricia’s question “Did you find another man?” also has its affinities with the somewhat incestuous relationship between Elisabeth and Paul in Jean Cocteau’s Les Enfants terribles (1950). The third party of the ménage a trois being Dargelos very much like Pablo in Made Up Dreams.

And so tonight I wish I were there in that classic Miami art deco movie theater, the Tower Theater. It has a long history in regard to the Cuban exile community as well as to the Exile who dares not mention his name…

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