How much do you know about Federico García Lorca? My answer to that question has changed dramatically since I completed the second half of my Spanish Literature and Cinema course here in Barcelona. In order to get quickly to the meat of this week’s post, I will try to summarize the parts of Lorca’s story that are most closely tied to my project.
- Lorca was born in Granada, Spain, in 1898.
- He was a poet, a playwright, and a creator in every sense of the word.
- He was heavily involved and influential in the surrealist movement in Spain.
- He was executed (assassinated) at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War.
- He was gay.
- He was (probably) deeply in love with Salvador Dalí.
- Dalí consistently rejected Lorca’s sexual advances.
- In 1929, Dalí and famed Spanish writer and director Luis Buñuel wrote and produced the surrealist film Un chien andalou (warning: jarring and surreal in every sense of the word).
- The film was fraught with subliminal and overt messages of repressed sexual desire, religious guilt, and death.
- Lorca assumed this film was a jab at him and his unreciprocated sexual advances toward Dalí.
- In that same year (1929), Lorca wrote the ‘script’ to a movie–Viaje a la luna--that he would never see filmed. It is presumed that this script was a direct response to Un chien andalou.
- 90 years later, my Literature and Cinema professor assigned us a project to bring Lorca’s script to life.
Now, our professor warned us that Lorca’s script would be difficult to adapt for a plethora of reasons. It reads like a poem; a series of 75 moving images that when put together tell a surreal, plotless story about sexual desire, disgust, confusion, and repression.
I did my best. I tried to put myself in the mind of Lorca, who was surely experiencing romantic, sexual, and emotional turmoil due to a combination of the unrequited love of Dalí and the oppressive homophobia of 1920’s Spain. (Reminder that he was executed by fascist forces who described him as a “socialist” who engaged in “homosexual and abnormal practices”).
So with this context in mind, please enjoy my interpretation of Federico García Lorca’s Viaje a la luna. I think I would like to edit it further in the future (as it turns out, I really enjoy doing multimedia work!), but below you will find the version that I submitted for grading and had to share in our last class meeting of the semester! I tried to keep it PG, but if you read the original script, you’ll see how that proved difficult. I also tried to pay homage to some of the techniques and motifs used in Un chien andalou (you’ll see the similarities if you decide to watch both). This has been my most ambitious one-woman-show to date and is by no means a polished piece of work, so please please please share whatever feedback you have! I love engaging with my readers (and this week, my viewers!). Enjoy!
(content warning: internalized homophobia, implied sexual intimacy)
- 1 año antes = 1 year earlier
- el prometido = the fiancé
- 6 meses antes = 6 months earlier
- la misma noche = that night
- viaje a la luna = trip to the moon
- ¿la quiero? = do I want her?
- ¡arrepiéntete! = repent!
- socorro = help
- felicidades = congratulations
- Sr y Sra = Mr. and Mrs.