Thursday, September 16

Whore and beautiful nostalgia

Enrique López Lavigne is an Apache filmmaker, one of those who jump into an empty pool in the hope that a miracle will turn the missing water into wine. A type of neighborhood that lacks modesty and that is shown on social networks interacting with everyone, including myself.

The other day we had a talycualeo where the bite of nostalgia led us to remember the cinemas of yesteryear; Legendary venues that flooded the streets of the neighborhood, when Bravo Murillo Street was the closest thing to that Broadway. I can recite from memory, as if it were a psalm, all those cinemas that were the closest thing to a second placenta: Lido, Carolina, Tetuán, Condado, Montija, Europa, Metropolitano, Cristal and, a little further down, already in Santa Engracia, the Griffith movie studio, a sacred place where full cycles of plus-size directors, whether Orson Welles, Kubrick or John Huston, were programmed. That was a time when a squirrel could cross Madrid from end to end without touching the ground, just jumping from one movie theater to another. Well that.

Enrique and I share the same imaginary, from when there was no Google, no gadgets or clutter, and mobile phones were still very far away. Home video had not yet reached homes, and the only way to learn about cinema was by enjoying the movies that were shown in those rooms that today are memory.

Meanwhile, in the talycualeo Cybernetic, and taking advantage of the fact that we were walking with memories at the Covadonga cinema -the Covacha-, another of the rope joined us, I mean the good Javier Memba, who appeared with his squid sandwiches. For those who do not know Javier Memba, say about him that he is part of that secret culture that underlies the cobblestones of the most authentic Madrid; the Madrid that Moncho Alpuente activated and was forged in the gatherings of Manuela and the nights of Elígeme and Star malasañero.

I am talking about when Madrid was a recently invented city and our steps had not yet been turned into crude merchandise. So Javier Memba was the rock novelist. The micurrias wanted to be like him and get to write the dirty history of the other Madrid, dance rock’n roll with the self-confidence with which he danced it and sign stories like his “Tribute to Kid Valencia”; those things.

The first film that Javier Memba saw at the Covadonga cinema was Help !, the musical comedy in which the Beatles were the protagonists. I’m more of the Rolling Stones, worse musicians but more hooligans. One of the first movies I saw at the Covacha was Godard’s Sympathy for the Devil, recorded in the revolutionary year of grace of ’68, and where the Stones appeared in full with Brian Jones, Bill Wyman and the recently deceased Charlie Watts.

That was a delusion for me, not only because of the film, but also because of the room in which it was projected. The smoke from the joints blinded my eyes and pints of beer ran through the stalls of the Covacha.

Sex, drugs and rock’n roll, that was the slogan of the times in which those of us who are old and we are already spent are spent on both sides; guys like Javier, like Enrique or myself, survivors of excesses and we have no modesty in showing our defects to people.

Perhaps, for these reasons, we stay afloat in the same pool, swimming on a liquid that is nothing more than a rare mixture of memory and desire. Whore and beautiful nostalgia.



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