Fernando Llanos on Mon, 27 Jan 2003 18:59:07 +0100 (CET)

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From: NAFTAZTC@aol.com
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 2003 11:46:05 EST

Frida lite or Fat-free da Calor, muchou calor.
(An essay on Salma Hayek's fantasies)
by GGP

Dear reader/viewer/listener:
When you see the movie "Frida," you are meant to have an epiphany: Frida is
Mexico; Mexico is tortured, sexy and colorful; Salma Hayek is Frida; and
therefore Salma isŠMexico.
Frida is a film about Salma, not Frida; a journey through the Mexico you
always wanted to see; a mindscape located inŠHollywood, Mexilandia; Magical
Realism Lite catering to the demanding desires of the romantic gringo
In the fantastic Mexico of Frida, the film not the painter, you can
experience the colorful and eroticized ego of Salma Hayek, an ex-soap opera
actress who (after being stereotyped over and over again as a
posmo-spitfire), herself had an epiphany: Frida is Mexico; Mexico is
tortured, sexy and colorful; yo soy Frida; yo soy Mexico, amén.
In the incredible Mexico of Frida, Salma's Mexico, you will witness come to
live everything you've ever seen in her paintings but "enhanced" and
"improved" by special effects, computer animation and Dolby sound; plus
everything you've ever seen in the frescos of your local Chicano barrio and
in the menus of your favorite nouvelle Mexican restaurant; all compressed
animated. It's visual high cuisine for the demanding global cultural
If you come to Frida's Mexico you'll experience a 2-hour 3-d ride through
mindscape and erotic fantasies of Frida, I mean Salma; a jam-packed border
fantasia with lots of desperado style; a universe populated by (choose from
the following menu) talking skeletons, devil piñatas, burning beds,  more
food than in Como Agua para Chocolate, and Salma's designer breasts and
entrapped in Cronenbergian desire; all dancing to the beat of tango-
flamenco, huapango-pop and jarochabily. And if this weren't enough, you will
peep through the window of the decadent period fiestas of the Mexican
intelligentsia where gorgeous bisexual communist women discuss the political
fate of the country and drink tequila with temperamental bohemians and fiery
revolutionaries who rarely work. Si damas y caballeros. It's magical realism
made in Hollywood, MTV teatro campesino; a high res. projection of gringo
desire; a drunken turista dream in Saint Michael de Allende; puro tequila
fever, Ajua! It'sŠit's definitely the hipest South of the borderŠnightclub.
And for your own comfort, all political texts and unpleasant socialist
propaganda have been erased by Salma's Department of Binational tourism.
In 2003, amidst the war on terror and the tightening of the US-Mexico
the viewer/voyeur can still dream of a Mexico without Zapatistas, migrant
workers, drug dealers; way before Nafta, Macdonald's, and techno music
spoiled the party, and in the process, get lots of ideas to decorate your
house just like the Mexotic Coyoacan mansion you always wanted to have.
 I saw it last night. I went to the Mexican premiere of Frida in Mexico
It was in English but with suave Mexican accents like mine. There were 20 of
us in the movie house. Next morning the Mexican press said, "After all these
years, Frida returns to Bellas Artes en inglés." But hell, we have to give
to "Salmita"ŠHer ego is much larger than Frida's. Though I wasn't too
convinced by her pathos and bisexuality. Salma is just too, too, cute,
contrived and artificial for my dark taste. But Julie Taymour knows her
craft, no doubt. Luckily Banderas just appeared for less than 5 minutes to
add cache to the venerable list of pan-Latino credits. "Tio, Banderas
performing Siqueiros is like Bruce Willis performing Subcomandante Marcos,
que no?"--Said my nephew."
         My mom loved it. After listening to my harsh criticism, she asked
what would I do if I were offered to direct a Frida movie? I answered:"Well,
I would have a Kabuki Frida and a Sumo Diego, and invite Nagishi Oshima to
direct it." Sorry. At this point I see no other way to redeem a la pobre
Frida Sufrida!
Ps: Fox is still waiting for the phone call from Washington.
    -December 2002, Mexico City

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