Arts and Culture

Instituto Cervantes marks 4th centennial of ‘Don Quijote’

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - This year marks the 400th anniversary of the publication of the second volume of Don Quijote de la Mancha, the popular story of an old Castilian gentleman who obsessively reads chivalry books until he goes mad.

Among the events celebrating the 4th centennial of Miguel de Cervantes’ immortal work, Instituto Cervantes recently opened “Variaciones del Quijote”, a multidisciplinary program devoted to the book, which is comprised of the film cycle “Don Quijote en El Cine,” a talk on the novel by Filipina writer Marjorie Evasco, and a special gastronomic journey to the cuisine of Don Quijote. 

The film cycle continues on Aug. 8 with the screening of El caballero don Quijote (Don Quixote, Knight Errant), a movie directed by Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón in 2002. Well received by the critics, the film bagged several nominations and prizes in different festivals around the world — a Goya Award for Best Cinematography, among them.

On Aug. 15, Instituto Cervantes will present the third movie of the cycle, Don Quijote de Orson Welles (Don Quijote of Orson Welles). In this film, Welles recreates his peculiar vision of Spain through the eyes of Don Quixote and Sancho, who tour the San Fermín festival, the Moors and Christians, Easter, etc. Welles died without finishing the movie. His friend, director Jess Franco took over and completed the work in 1992, following the directions Welles himself left behind. 

Written and directed by Albert Sierra in 2006, the critically acclaimed Honor de Cavalleria (Quixotic) will conclude the film cycle on Aug. 22, at 2 p.m. Shot with amateur actors and a minimal budget, Albert Serra’s adaptation of the misadventures of the senile would-be knight and his sidekick Sancho Panza is arguably the most heterodox “reading” of the novel.  The film favors natural sounds and landscape imagery over dialogue and music, in a somehow minimalist way.  It is a reminder of the style of filmmakers like Bresson or Pasolini. The movie garnered several awards in international festivals — Best Film at the 2006 Torino International Festival of Young Cinema, among them.

The same Saturday, Aug. 22, at 10 a.m., Instituto Cervantes’ Salón de Actos will host a lecture on Don Quijote, delivered by Filipino professor and writer Marjorie Evasco, SeaWrite awardee for the Philippines and National Commission for Culture and Arts Ani ng Dangal. Evasco’s books have won the Philippine National Book Awards for poetry, oral history and art. In her talk titled “Altisidora’s Postscript: Re-reading the Ludic in Book II of Don Quijote de la Mancha”, Evasco will discuss the relevance of the second part of Don Quijote in the history of Literature and in the emergence of a new genre: the novel.

During the month of August, visitors to the Library Miguel Hernández of Instituto Cervantes are also invited to copy a few lines of the novel in the first handwritten Don Quijote in Asia.

 “Variaciones del Quijote” is presented by Instituto Cervantes in collaboration with the Embassy of Spain. The screenings, in Spanish with English subtitles, will be held every Saturday of August, 2 p.m., at Instituto Cervantes, 855 T.M. Kalaw St., Ermita, Manila). To RSVP for the lecture, email [email protected] or call 526-1482. 

For information, visit www.manila.cervantes.es or www.facebook.com/InstitutoCervantesManila.












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