The Monkey in the Swirl (El mono en el remolino)

The Monkey in the Swirl (El mono en el remolino)

Notes about the shooting of «Zama», film directed by Lucrecia Martel.
Literatura Random House, 2017
93 pages

Published by: Turkey Ekim Film Yapım Prodüksiyon San

Film rights sold

The repeated shot. The whispers of the Qom and their orderly walking in line in front of the camera. The machines that get bogged down. The heat and the mud. The costumes and the wigs. The casting. Ghost towns turned into film stages; locals into Spaniards and Indians; fields into the wasteland, where Don Diego de Zama awaits in vain a promotion that will save him from apathy and ostracism.

As Lucrecia Martel films, Selva Almada observes, asks questions, and writes down. These notes, subtle and lyrical, are much more than an inspirational and irreverent filming diary.

They are a sensitive optical device that illuminates, fragments and offers insights into the literary myth of Zama, going through pages and images, from the movie to the book.

Almada manages to tell a story that emulates certain ghostly, thrilling, and adventurous climates from the novel (and the film) and that eventually becomes something else. La Nación

Almada sets aside the film, the ups and downs of filming, and engages in what is left out of the frame: everything that happens in the surroundings. Alan Pauls

Selva Almada’s engaging writing lights as a camera in these political and anthropological notes. Los Andes