Thursday, June 4, 2009

Poem in the Form of A Film Poster

Fernando Birri




I see, I see
a green parrot
in the Zoo in Berlin

and I think:
“ The New Latin American
Cinema is today a reality
But
But
But
Twenty-five years agao
It was utopia
Which is the new utopia?

and the parrot
the green parrot
green parrot
whose name is Latin
is very difficult
but who is surely
called Junacito or
Nemesio is a parrot
from the High Parana
that is to say my
brother or my cousin
I saw him, I saw him

And I think:
‘National identity.
Did the parrot need its
national(and critical)
identity?
But ourselves, we do

We needed it:
for a national cinema
realist
and
critical
Later we added
Popular’.

I see, I see
the parrot
Looking at the grey sky
Of Berlin
through the holes
Of the woven wire of
cage
It wasn’t sad
just effective.

And I think:
“The Problem now
is the language
(ideology we’ve dealt with)
blood
saliva
sperm
death
resistance
Violent,serene
liberation
from hunger
Of conscience
A revolution
which doesn’t
revolutionize
(permanently)
Its language
alphabets
gestures
looks
turns in on itself and dies
(the parrot breathes, blinking)
Film poetry
anti-literary
anti-theatre
Live Metaphor
Make of poetic-political
light revolution and orgasm’

I see, I see
the parrot
these are others
As well
Packed in
a feather falls
like a green snowflake
under
the distant sky
of Berlin

I think
Or think I think
‘grandfather Lumiere
grandfather Melies
grandfather Edison
receive
this new Latin American
cinema
one in diversity
diverse in unity
one and uni-versal
until now there have been
auteur cinema
schools and movements
national cinema
today there is a cinema
of an entire continent
which is called
New Latin American Cinema
An entire continent
I want to tell you
phonofilmic parrot
Expresses its vision
Its frenzy
of magma and snow
Its angry trembling
-we shall places the camera
At the height of human eyes-
Its trans-figuration

I say:
‘Release me from the obligation
Of the prologue
Let me speak(I do)
with pan, zoom,
traveling, decibels
Mix, 24 frames
Per second
In my language made of
Projected light.’

In the zoo
in Berlin, in Berlin
I saw, I saw
The green parrot

And the parrot didn’t
See me.

- Excerpt from New Latin American Cinema dossier published by the British Film Institute and Translated by Michal Chanan.


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