24 revoluciones por minuto: El centenario de las balas filmadas

Ade01cEntrevista con  José Antonio Valdés, crítico de cine

Balas, polvo y muerte vestidas de corrido, tequila y china poblana, bigote, trenza y carrillera, son muchas las revoluciones heredadas por el cine mexicano, folkloristas, cantarinas o desencantadas, polvorientas. Este es el año de las mil revoluciones filmadas, documentales o recreadas, sinceras u oficialistas. ¿Qué les ve José Antonio Valdés?

Es la revolución mexicana el primer gran movimiento armado registrado paso a paso por cámaras de cine y celuloide en el mundo. En México, el Ingeniero Salvador Toscano (Valdés insiste en llamarlo no cineasta, director ni autor, sino ingeniero a lo largo de la charla) dejó, en Memorias de un mexicano el testimonio documental más importante del conflicto. Rescatado y restaurado recientemente en DVD, tendrá una lógica nueva exhibición y limpieza a cargo del Archivo Toscano este año. “Este es el año de esa película”, remarca Valdés.

Poco conocido es el lado cinematográfico de las balas en esa época, como poco conocido es que Pancho Villa firmara un contrato de exclusividad de imagen con la Mutual Film Company, la casa que también contó en su nómina a Charles Chaplin. Hay imágenes de las batallas, de los heridos y los caídos que por varios años pudieron verse en Estados Unidos, pero no en México, donde la censura huertista armó brazos de poder anteriores al nazi o al soviético, pero que iban más o menos por la misma escuela.

Después del documental, las reconstrucciones en set, con luces y vestuario, la revolución contada desde la ficción nace a los ojos públicos con la trilogía de Fernando de Fuentes compuesta por El Prisionero 13, El compadre Mendoza y Vámonos con Pancho Villa, esta última, con inversión histórica de 1 millón de pesos y el apoyo total de Lázaro Cárdenas en su realización. Son revoluciones poco amables, de bandoleros y tropas hambrientas que tienen más interés en el saqueo que en la reconstrucción política.

Son fracasos comerciales, frecuentemente censurados, para los que José Antonio tiene una explicación: “Algunos hombres que ganaron la revolución y se alistaron al PNR entraron pronto a la industria del cine a detener cualquier intento de mostrar la revolución como lo que fue: Una guerra civil antes que una gesta heroica. Como en la famosa frase de Monsiváis, la revolución se bajó del caballo y sentó en un escritorio”

La consecuencia es un cine sobre la revolución donde el conflicto termina en 1917, con la nueva constitución, que pareciera pacificar al país en automático. Ni madres. La revolución, bien que mal, continúa hasta 1929 con la fundación del Partido Nacional Revolucionario.“El diez por ciento del país se murió en esos años, pero es más taquillero y bonita una revolución cinematográficamente idealizada. Se trata de imponer un oficialismo en torno al tema”

Por eso, considera el crítico, la  visión amarga no deja escuela, lo que si hacen las revoluciones cantadas y pintorescas después de Allá en el Rancho Grande (1936), paradójicamente del mismo Fernando de Fuentes. En los años siguientes, poco a poco el Indio Fernández y Gabriel Figueroa retoman los temas del periodo que, como en la novela, comienza a volverse género nacional. “La diferencia”, según Valdés, “es que por cruda que sea la batalla, Figueroa siempre va a retratar en la lente una revolución impresionante, con nubes épicas en el fondo y unos magueyes florecientes.”

El resto del siglo XX agrupa cintas como La Sombra del Caudillo, paradigma de la censura cinematográfica en tiempos priístas, la vuelta de “la revolución convertida en revolución femenina” con La Soldadera de José Bolaños ó La Negra Angustia de Matilde Landeta, la apertura de la década de 1970 que permite el paso de títulos como Reed: México Insurgente de Paul Leduc ó La guerra santa de Carlos Enrique Taboada.

El 2010 obliga a las pantallas a vestirse otra vez de bala y fusil, con varios títulos de los cuales Valdés da un adelanto y que empezaron el año pasado con Arráncame la vida: Expediente del atentado, de Jorge Fons, la producción mas costosa del cine nacional, a estrenarse en los próximos meses. Chico Grande, de Felipe Cazals, basada en un guión abandonado por Ricardo Garibay, ó el documental La Cámara Casasola, de Carlos Rodriguez Montes de Oca. Bicentenario en el cine  hay para rato.

RL

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