01 December 2011

The Savage Detectives, the un-movie

Gael in talks for “The Savage Detectives”

The Mexican actor Gael García Bernal could be the protagonist of the film “The Savage Detectives” (Los Detectives Salvajes in Spanish), based on the book of the Chilean writer Roberto Bolaño, announced today the newspaper “La Nacion”.

The director, Carlos Sama, said in an interview with the Chilean newspaper that he’s “in talks” with Gael Garcia Bernal to play the protagonist of the film that could premiere in late 2009.

“The Savage Detectives”, published in Chile in 1998, relates the search for Mexican poet Cesárea Tinajero by two young poets: The Chilean Arturo Belano, who would be interpreted by Garcia Bernal, as well as the Mexican Ulises Lima.

Sama, aged of 41, who wrote the screenplay for the movie with Luis Felipe Fabre and Arcadi Palerm-Artís, said the shooting will start this year in northern Mexico in the Sonoran Desert, “which is a very special place”.


That was in 2008.

But it turned out to be more a film pitch than a done deal. Horacio Castellanos Moya couldn't help making a reference to this film in his essay on the "Bolaño myth": "the old mythology of the road trip, which came from Kerouac, has now been recycled with the face of Gael García Bernal (who will also portray Bolaño in an upcoming film, by the way)." Castellanos Moya traced the road trip myth from García Bernal portraying Che Guevara in The Motorcycle Diaries.

Carolina López, Bolaño's widow, said that no contract for a film adaptation of the novel was actually made.

The movie that could somehow approximate the novel's eroticism and 'artlessness' was probably Y tu mamá también (And Your Mother Too), directed by Alfonso Cuarón. The movie, which also starred García Bernal, is about two teenage friends and an older woman who went on a road trip in search of a lost beach.

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