Mexican Culture in Animated Translation

The Book of Life
Director: Jorge Gutiérrez
Studio: Reel FX/20th Century Fox
Mexico/United States, 2014

Review by Martin Boyd

In a previous review for this Forum, I’ve already made mention of the dearth of Mexican family films for those parents who want their children exposed to Mexican culture and to break the Disney monotony that young viewers are subjected to almost daily. Indeed, the Hollywood monopoly on movie production for children is so severe that we are left with no other option than to search for representations of Mexican culture in US cinema itself. Notable among the few positive representations of Mexico in Hollywood cinema is The Book of Life, an animated film by Mexican director Jorge Gutiérrez, produced with the support of Guillermo del Toro, one of the most prominent Mexican filmmakers of recent years.

Continue reading

Mexican Classical Music Comes to Toronto

When: Saturday, November 5, 2016
Where: Windermere United Church
356 Windermere Ave., Toronto.
Tickets: $25.00

An evening of Mexican and international chamber music, combined with visual arts. Duo Luna, featuring violinist Paulina Derbez and pianist Araceli Salazar, will be featuring works by classical Mexican composers such as Manuel M. Ponce, Federico Ibarra, Silvestre Revueltas and Alexis Aranda. Also featured will be Cesar Franck’s Sonata and Spiegel im Spiegel by Arvo Part, with the visual accompaniment of digital artist Jaime Luján.

Continue reading

Diálogos Celebrates its 10th Anniversary!

Martin Boyd

On September 25, 2006, the company Diálogos was born. I founded the business just two months after arriving in Toronto from Mexico City, with the primary purpose of providing Spanish-English translation services, but also with a broader vision of offering a forum of intercultural exchange between the Spanish- and English-speaking worlds in Canada. Over the past decade, Diálogos has evolved into a premium agency providing translation services in the legal, literary, academic and commercial fields, serving clients here in Canada and all over the world. At the same time, our broader vision of supporting exchange between Hispanic and Anglophone communities in Canada has been realized through a wide range of initiatives.

Continue reading

Mexican Independence: What is Remembered and What Is Forgotten

Isabel Martínez

On September 15, Mexicans all over the world will be celebrating the independence of their native land once again. Both in towns all over Mexico and in Toronto and other cities of the world where there is a significant Mexican population, Mexicans come out to the public squares every year to commemorate the night in 1810 when the priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla called upon the parishioners of the town of Dolores, in the state of Guanajuato, to take up arms against the Spanish. This celebration is so firmly ingrained in the national collective imagination that sometimes its most basic features are obscured or forgotten.

Continue reading

Beatriz Hausner

BHausnerPhotoBeatriz Hausner is the author of several poetry collections, including Enter the Raccoon and Sew Him Up. Her work has been translated into several languages, including Spanish, her mother tongue: La costurera y el muñeco viviente (trans. Julio César Aguilar: Mantis Editores, Mexico, 2012). Hausner’s career as a literary translator has focused on the poetry of César Moro, Olga Orozco, Rosamel del Valle, the poets of the Chilean group Mandrágora, and many others associated with Spanish American surrealism. She has also translated the early fiction of Alvaro Mutis, and most recently, the poetry of Abigael Bohórquez. She has been President of the Literary Translators’ Association of Canada and was one of the founders of the Banff Literary Translation Centre. For several years she was one of the publishers of Quattro Books, where she oversaw the publication of many works of literature in translation. Her poem “Poetic Twin Man” appeared originally in her collection Sew Him Up, and appears now in Diálogos for the first time in a Spanish translation by Marta Rota Nuñez.

Continue reading

US National Translation Month Moves to September

NTM-BadgeThe US initiative of National Translation Month (NTM) announces the celebration’s move from February to September. NTM will now celebrate translations every September starting in 2016 with the official social hashtag #TranslateMonth2016. The goal of National Translation Month (NTM) is to encourage readers worldwide to celebrate literary works in translation from a variety of international authors.

Continue reading

Celebrating Latin American Culture

mississauga-latin-festival_250Mississauga Latin Festival 2016

When: Saturday August 6 and Sunday August 7, 2016, starting at 1 p.m.
Where: Mississauga Celebration Square
300 City Centre Drive, Mississauga

The best of our Latin American culture will be on display at the second edition of the Mississauga Latin Festival 2016, where you will have the chance to enjoy orchestras, folklore, traditional foods, handicrafts, children’s activities, a cultural exhibition and much more.

Continue reading

(Almost) a Mexican Family Film

Álex Perea in Zurdo

Álex Perea in Zurdo

Zurdo
Director: Carlos Salcés
Studio: Altavista Films
Mexico, 2003

Review by Martin Boyd

A series of internationally successful Mexican films over the past twenty years has led critics to speak of a Nuevo Cine Mexicano (“New Mexican Cinema”), a resurgence in Mexico’s film industry after decades of decline. With filmmakers like Alfonso Cuarón, Alejandro González Iñárritu and Guillermo del Toro as some of its most outstanding representatives, the movement is characterized by its dark overtones, with themes related to violence (Amores Perros), the drug trade (Rudo y Cursi), sexuality (Y tu mamá también) and the frankly grotesque (Pan’s Labyrinth), themes that are all quite popular in the world of arthouse cinema, but that don’t leave much room for the production of family films. In this context, a film like Zurdo, by Mexico City director Carlos Salces, whose protagonist is an 11-year-old with a skill for playing marbles, seems like a ray of light in the darkness for parents who want their children to see a little Mexican cinema to break up the Disney monotony. Unfortunately, in spite of many points in its favour, in the end Zurdo falls prey to the same fascination for bleak themes from which so many films of the Nuevo Cine Mexicano seem to suffer, and thus disqualifies itself as an ideal film for the whole family to enjoy.

Continue reading

Remembering Gregory Rabassa

Martin Boyd

Gregory Rabassa (1922-2016)

Gregory Rabassa (1922-2016)

The world of literary translation lost one of its most important figures last month with the death of US translator Gregory Rabassa. When the so-called “Latin American boom” brought writers like Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa and Julio Cortázar to international fame in the 1960s, it was Rabassa whose well-crafted translations brought many of their masterpieces alive in the English language. For Hopscotch, his translation of Cortázar’s Rayuela, one of the first Latin American novels to receive international attention, Rabassa won the US National Book Award for Translation in 1967. However, of all of his translations the most widely read is without doubt One Hundred Years of Solitude, one of the most important literary works of the twentieth century, whose author García Márquez described Rabassa as “the best Latin American writer in the English language.”

Continue reading

“Nuestra Palabra” Short Story Competition: 13th edition

nuestra palabraEditorial Nuestra Palabra publishers, AMPO, and the Consulates of Spain and Peru in Toronto are pleased to announce and invite the Hispanic community in Canada, and the Hispanic-Canadian community around the world, to participate in the thirteenth annual edition of the “Nuestra Palabra” short story competition, dedicated to promoting the reading and writing of literature in Spanish and the promotion of Spanish-speaking values.

Continue reading