Thursday, March 29, 2007

Pedro Paramo on film

From Variety:
Alejandro Amenabar co-scribe Mateo Gil is teaming with Spain’s Sogecine and Ariete-Ariane and Portugal’s Take 2000 to write and direct a bigscreen adaptation of Juan Rulfo’s novel “Pedro Paramo,” a seminal work in modern Latin American literature.

Mexican Eugenio Caballero, who won an Academy Award this year for “Pan’s Labyrinth,” has been tapped as art director.

Gil and Caballero are scouting in Jalisco, Mexico, for a ghost village as the film’s key location.

Gil and Sogecine, the film production division of giant Spanish TV conglom Sogecable, worked as helmer and producer on Gil’s flamboyant debut, the 1999 Seville-set thriller “Nobody Knows Anybody.”

Producers of “Pedro Paramo’s” movie version aim to set it up as a Spain-Portugal-Mexico co-production to shoot largely in Mexico by late 2007 or early 2008.

The project’s challenges are less financial than artistic.

Rulfo’s 1955 “Pedro Paramo” follows narrator Juan Preciado to his mother’s native village of Comala, a dust-bowl hell. He only gradually cottons on to the fact that all the villagers he meets are dead.

“Pedro Paramo” had large influence on Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” the cornerstone of magical realism.

But, rather like Marquez’s works, “Pedro Paramo” is thought a huge challenge for film adaptation: Gil himself calls the project “an act of daring.”

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