I have been here for a little over a week now… At times I feel that I have been here for 3 minutes and at times it feels like 3 years.
For instance, I have already:
- boarded a bus that took me in a 30 minute long circle around the city; only to let me of at the same place I got on! I only got off because I finally saw a familiar street and thought it was about time that I abandoned ship. Buen Viaje!
- attended a Sunday fair in the park where I, for the first time, experienced live Murga! If you don’t know what Murga is, check out this link! It is truly entrancing… AND…
- sat through numerous conversations where I was completely in the dark because everyone is speaking Spanish so quick that I can’t translate fast enough. Me sentí abrumado! (I was overwhelmed… Ha, and still am).
On top of that, I have grown close to my Argentinian family. I am renting an apartment from them and they are the most amazing people! Alfredo, Loty, Sole and Paula Gomez have made me feel so welcomed and a part of their family. I am constantly surprised by them… I can’t say enough good things. Which is frustrating because if I could speak Spanish better I could tell them!
So, Friday was the first day of Autumn or Ontoño. Yes, I am going right back into winter folks! Upon waking up that morning; I was ready for “La Primer Mate”, (the first mate), in my new Mate cup. Following all the steps of preparation; the morning had arrived when the first mate would be prepared. Now, I could write a whole paper on the preparation process… but it will suffice to say that it took three days to “cure” the wooden Mate cup before I could use it. To add to the elation, sister’s Paula and Sole brought a delicious breakfast to celebrate the day!
Unfortunately, when the first first mate was prepared the cup cracked in half! Done! Over! Three days of prep wiped out! Never the less breakfast was still a success and the day just kept getting better…
Now, there are many reasons I am here but one HUGE reason is to work on a new feature length picture. My co-producer from A Band of Rogues, Maria José Perez, came to me with an idea 9 months ago to adapt a book into a movie, La Ultima Noche En Que Tampoco Habló, which is an immersive novel set during the Argentinian dictatorship of the 1970’s. It has gained notoriety in Argentina and in Europe but has yet to be translated into English.
Finally the day we have both been waiting for arrived; the author of the novel, Daniel Fermani, came to meet with us. When I say “meet” I mean; we sat together, shared a bottle wine and ate a fantastic Veal Milanesa. While enjoying this treat, we discussed the novel in great detail. All the questions that Maria and I had had before were answered. Not only through our conversation, were the questions answered, but also through a complete diary/commentary that Daniel wrote on his 3 hour bus ride to our town from Mendoza. And after four hours of me trying to translate the conversation in my head and Maria helping me fill in the blanks; I was sure that I had made the right decision in coming down here.
I can’t fully describe the immediate connection I felt with Daniel Fermani. It reminds me of something a local told me the other day: “It doesn’t matter what language you speak, the truth and meaning is in your eyes.” Truly the window to the soul I suppose… Also, once we started talking about filmmakers that influenced us my appreciation for him grew.
In order to celebrate this momentous occasion Maria suggested an Asado!
Why not? Delicious meats roasted over a bed of hot coals is a good way to celebrate any occasion! Especially the commencement of a new project and a new friendship. Maria and I have been in development on this project for about 6 months, but tonight it was made real! Tonight, the blessing was given to move forward.