File spoon-archives/marxism2.archive/marxism2_1996/96-07-31.055, message 61

Date:          Sat, 20 Jul 1996 14:58:37 +0000
Subject:       "Evita" -- the movie

I had a most unusual experience today. There I was, walking
around the farmers' market with my backpack checking out the
peaches when some guys stopped me for a marketing research
project. It turned out what they wanted was for me to watch some
videotaped scenes from the forthcoming film of "Evita," starring
Madonna, Antonio Banders and Jonathan Price, so they could
evaluate them for use in tv commercials and movie trailers.

I must say, judging from what I saw, that I'm definitely going to
go see this movie. I don't know anything about the stage musical,
and I know that folks in the entertainment industries tend to
play fast and loose with "history" in a thoroughly post-modernist
way. (After all, if everything is subjective, who can say that
total fiction isn't "true" on its own grounds?) Still, other than
the bogus device of having Che Guevara (played by Antonio
Banders) as narrator/interlocutor, what I saw seemed to reflect
some of the realities of Peronism as a mass movement -- enough so
to make me want to see the full film.

As some of you may recall, when Madonna first announced that she
wanted to do a film of "Evita" many of the critics reacted with
horror, saying that this was typical over-reaching on her part.
It struck me as probably very shrewd, and the excerpts from the
film I saw bear this out. In both the singing and the speaking
parts, she is definitely playing Evita Peron, not playing Madonna
acting out.

The cinematography is excellent, with lots of the sort of crowd
scenes (workers being attacked by the cops, funeral processions,
etc.) which are so much better in a movie than on stage -- or at
least on stage in any productions any of us can afford to go to.

Anyway, that's a little advance notice. "Evita" is scheduled for
release sometime in the fall. Maybe we can all see it and have a
little discussion.


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