|"Tirant lo Blanc" and the self-hate of Vicente Aranda|
|per Víctor Alexandre|
|dissabte, 22 abril 2006|
The cinematographic version of Joanot Martorell’s hero could not be more insignificant and insubstantial. Battles are poor and the main character, Tirant, is played by Caspar Zafer, who is unable to communicate any emotion. Only Leonor Watling, Ingrid Rubio and Victoria Abril give the film a little bit of entity, because Giancarlo Giannini and Jane Asher, who play the roles of emperor and empress of the Byzantine Empire, appear on screen like lost souls in search of a director who loves the history that he explains and does not use it to channel his phobias.
Vicente Aranda’s self-hate is too big to resist the temptation of using the great classic work of the Catalan literature to try to ridicule the hero and turn him into a mix of an impotent man and a premature ejaculator. Moreover, in the Spanish version, the names are translated into Spanish (Tirante, Hipólito…), so that the identity of Tirant and the other characters becomes subtlety Spanish, which makes Aranda fall into his trap, because due to the "Spanisation" of Tirant, the impotent man is not Catalan (or Breton, like in the novel), but Spanish. In the end, the only real impotence is Aranda’s: his impotence to do something better than a TV film.
But Catalans have to know that the production company, Carolina Films, lies. As the Linguistic Normalisation Section of the Town Council of Alcúdia, Balearic Isles, announced on May 18th 2005, the producer company promised that the film would only be seen in Catalan in the Catalan territories. This was announced because there was the rumour that the film would be shown in Spanish in the territories where Catalan is spoken. As Bernat Baldomero, press chief of Carolina Films, said, "the film was shot in English to universalize the work and spread our literature and culture all over the world". In the end, these statements were just lies. There are only 10 copies of the film in Catalan: 7 in Catalonia, 2 in Valencia and 1 in the Balearic Isles. It is really a shame.
As for the "universalization of the novel and our language and culture", we may add that the international press dossiers (www.tirant-lo-blanc.com), entitled in English “Tirant lo Blanc/Tirante el Blanco”, say things like this: "Tirante el Blanco tells the story of the famous knight Tirante..." and "...the fierce almogávares, a class of Spanish soldiers who fought during the Christian Reconquest of Spain...". And this film was subsidized by the Catalan Government and the Catalan TV channel TV3, and shown to the world by Vicente Aranda, who was born in Catalonia. He feels such a self-hate that if he were Jew he would probably be anti-Semitist. Fortunately, not everybody who wants to offend manages to do it.
Racó Català , 4/22/2006 (Catalan)
El Punt , 4/24/2006 (Catalan)
Eurotribune.net , 4/24/2006 (Catalan, English, Spanish, French)
Diari de Sant Cugat , 4/26/2006 (Catalan)
AixòToca , 5/1/2006 (Catalan)
normalitzacio.cat , 5/1/2006 (Catalan)