Empty-headed, cynical reactionaries that we are, pegamequemegusta can’t stand talk of ‘Time’. The only valid response to assertions to the effect that ‘things are changing ever more quickly these days’ or that ‘we now live in a completely different world’ to people in the past is, we feel, to throw salmon at them and untie the noose on our always-to-hand bag of ravenous street cats.
So, dear handsome reader, you can imagine our surprise when we found ourselves identifying with one of the speakers in a short film we saw recently. (Hmm, the use of the words ‘identifying’ and ‘short film’ are probably well worth a salmon-flavoured mauling in themselves). An old man in a dingy auld dive in Buenos Aires laments the impossibility of real geniuses walking the earth again, or at least having the possibility to thrive and develop their talent. Before you point to li’l Lionel: “Not some lad who knows how to kick a football or some guitar-twanging hippy”, he says, “a real one.” Something chimed briefly in the cavernous vacuity of our skull in which our cerebellum swings like an inflamed tonsil being shook by a mad green hunchback bereft of his bell. The old man is soon interrupted. Empty heads notoriously being somewhat thicker in every sense of the word than the, somewhat paradoxically, more porous mind of the true thinker, we were soon comforted by a counter-argument that reaffirmed our prejudices.
An Argentine short, by writer/director Guillermo Grillo, El bar de mala muerte is one of the best things we’ve seen for ages. Our proselytising zeal, our substitute for pistol and ball, led us to bother translating and sticking subtitles on it. It’s quite short and it’s great, so watch it.
Don’t skip ahead, watch it.
The absurd contortions of Mozart’s face as he insults Beethoven, Bach being a kid with a limp who speaks like a mob boss, Mozart and Beethoven ‘speaking’ in melodies once they go outside… It’s rather well done. As regards the old man at the table, we were informed by a reliable enough source that it’s Roberto Goyeneche, the famed tango singer, though the song is a Gardel tune, Volver, sung here by Roberto Ayala
We decided not to include the lyrics in the subtitles so as not to distract from his voice. Maybe we should have but in any case there is a decent enough translation of the words here.
Pero el viajero que huye
tarde o temprano detiene su andar…
Y aunque el olvido, que todo destruye,
haya matado mi vieja ilusion,
guardo escondida una esperanza humilde
que es toda la fortuna de mi corazon.