‘Saramago on the screen’, a tribute to the work of the nob…

Filmoteca Canaria begins a cycle with some of the film adaptations of its most iconic works

Canarian Film Library joins the centenary of José Saramago with a cycle that includes several film adaptations of the most iconic works of the Portuguese Nobel Prize winner. The titles chosen are ‘José y Pilar’, ‘Enemy’, ‘A blind’ and ‘La balsa de piedra’, which can be seen starting next week in Gran Canaria and Tenerife, as well as in Lanzarote starting in October . The cycle has been organized by the Government of the Canary Islands in collaboration with the José Saramago House-Museum and the Tías City Council.

The name of José Saramago, winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize for Literature, is essential to understand the future of the Iberian Peninsula for more than half a century and for the young generations to understand the importance of one of the leading authors of 20th century literature, who fixed his last residence on the island of Lanzarote.

Although time is what dictates the value of a literary work, it is easy to assert that Saramago will be read as long as there are readers, despite the fact that, as he wrote in “Essay on blindness”, each time “we have fewer feelings, or we have them, but we stop using the words that express them, and consequently we lose them.” Of few writers can it be said that each of his fictions is incomparable to the previous one. Saramago was an author aware that each story has an ideal and intrinsic way of being told. Also on screen.

‘Jose and Pilar’

The cycle begins with ‘José y Pilar’, on Tuesday the 13th at the Guiniguada Theater in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and on Thursday the 15th at the Espacio La Granja in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. ‘The Elephant’s Journey’, the book in which Saramago narrates the adventures and misadventures of a pachyderm transported from the court of King John III to that of Archduke Maximilian of Austria, is the starting point of this documentary film by Miguel Gonçalves Mendes , which portrays the relationship between the writer and Pilar del Río.

A sample of the couple in their daily life in Lanzarote and Lisbon, at home and on their business trips around the world. ‘José y Pilar’ is a surprising portrait of an author in his creative process and of the relationship of a couple committed to changing the world, or at least to making it better. The film reveals an unknown Saramago, undoes preconceived ideas and also proves that genius and simplicity are compatible.


The next screening will be ‘A blind’, a 2008 film inspired by his work ‘Essay on blindness’, which can be seen in these same two spaces on Tuesday 20 and Thursday 22, respectively. The film signed by the Brazilian Fernando Meirelles tells the story of a country that is suddenly devastated by an unknown epidemic. Those affected by the disease lose their sight and are isolated in hospitals by the government, without receiving explanations. Chaos breaks out both in the streets and in these medical centers, and in the midst of the madness, a woman pretends to be infected so as not to abandon her sick husband to her fate.

‘Enemy’ and ‘The Duplicate Man’

The cycle will continue in October with the Canadian film ‘Enemy’ (2013), inspired by the novel ‘El hombre duplicado’, scheduled for Tuesday 4th in Gran Canaria and Thursday 6th in Tenerife; and the Spanish ‘La balsa de piedra'(2002), which adapts his novel of the same title and which provides the most fantastic touch of this selection, on October 11 and 13 at Guiniguada and Espacio La Granja, respectively.

‘Enemy’ tells the story of Adam, a quiet and kind college professor. His life takes a radical turn when he sees an actor identical to him on television. Adam becomes obsessed with this man and the idea of ​​finding him to find answers. What he finds during this search will completely change his life, which will never be the same again. In ‘La balsa de piedra’, an inexplicable cataclysm for science separates the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of the European continent, so that Spain and Portugal become a stone raft that wanders aimlessly through the ocean. Chaos breaks out both within the peninsula and internationally, when the United States begins planning to take control of that adrift land.

Tickets are available on the Filmoteca Canaria website, as well as for the Teatro Guiniguada and Espacio La Granja at the price of 2 euros and with discounts for certain groups. These same films will also be screened in Lanzarote in October, in a program that will be made available shortly.

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‘Saramago on the screen’, a tribute to the work of the nob…