Telenovelas an intercultural phenomenon (I)
Buscando en Youtube para actualizar a pagina de video encontré una entrevista con Selma Hayek, Thalia y Kate de Castillo realizada por el canal NBC. Considerando e éxito que 'Ugly Bety' (Bety la Fea) tiene en EE.UU - Salma gano un Globo de oro por este papel y también e éxito que tuve 'Babel' - una película que aunque a otro nivelo habla también de a interculturalidad - pensé a incluir este articulo general sobre telenovelas. E articulo esta en ingles y por esto inclui e enlace e la traducción automatica de Google aunque, según yo, a este estado, es mas para divertirte que para enterarte :(. - Relacionado: video entrevista de Humberto Zurita sobre la competencia en el mundo de telenovelas
Telenovelas, Spanish-language melodramas from south of the border, are the ultimate crossover phenomenon. Their addictive formula -- a woman's agonizing struggle ending in redemption -- attracts 2 billion viewers worldwide.
Matilde Penalver y Beristain, a young woman raised in the 19th-century Mexican aristocracy, gasps. The sight of her husband, Manuel, lying in agony, a bullet lodged in his chest, complicates her romantic dilemma. Forced to marry him for money because of family financial ruin and countless family intrigues, Matilde was determined to hate him. But how can you really hate a guy for little worse than standard male obtuseness? Blissfully innocent of the family intrigues, Manuel somehow manages to convince himself that Matilde loves him. He loves her.
The problem stands by the bedroom door: The man Matilde originally wanted to marry has, under false pretenses, insinuated himself into the household as Manuel's estate manager. Matilde turns toward that man, tears for her husband competing with guilt for shedding them. What's a girl to do? And there is another complication: The servant Antonia has eyes for Manuel and once got a good smooch from him, even if he was drunk at the time.
"Manuel! Manuel!" Antonia cries, caressing his forehead. "Out!" snaps Matilde, yanking her up. "We must clean his wound." Cat fight. The rivals -- now the love-torn Matilde is struggling for her husband -- spill half of the water intended to wash the wound.
Another Mexican telenovela, or television novel (the usual but inapt translation is soap opera), moves a step nearer its conclusion: as the title says, Un Amor Real (A True Love). Broadcast in Mexico this past summer and fall and headed for the United States on the Spanish-language Univision network, it is widely considered one of the best of the genre. This is no cheap studio production. Televisa, the producer, built a whole 19th-century town to film it. The title sequences alone range from a formal waltz, as if from the pages of Tolstoy -- couples in exquisite period attire weaving kaleidoscopic patterns -- to the lonely couple, Matilde and Manuel, standing by the colonial gate of a hacienda in Hidalgo, Mexico.
Latin American telenovelas are carving an extraordinary presence across this country and around the world. In addition to Univision, you can watch them on two other Spanish-language networks in the United States: Telemundo and Azteca America (the last not yet on cable in New England but available via the Dish Network).
In heavily Hispanic cities such as Los Angeles, novela hits sometimes get higher prime-time ratings than any English-language network. In New England, 50,000 or more Hispanic households watch popular novelas such as El Privilegio de Amar (The Privilege to Love) or Salome each evening, and up to 100,000 watch the climactic final episodes, according to WUNI, the local Univision station. This translates into some 300,000 viewers, the station says, or a 40 percent rating among Hispanics. When WUNI went off the air temporarily the afternoon before the final episode of Esmeralda, desperate viewers swamped the switchboard.
And you need not just watch novelas at home. In Jamaica Plain, you can dine at the Latino Restaurant or get your hair done at the Davis Beauty Salon without missing an episode. And you can read about the stars in magazines such as TVyNovelas or TeleRevista, available at many CVS drugstores. Not only in the Americas but in Russia, China, Romania, Morocco, Afghanistan -- well over 100 countries around the world, in all -- dubbed or subtitled Novelas reach some 2 billion viewers globally, by industry estimates. While the Mexican producer Televisa is the biggest, others -- such as TV Globo in Brazil, TV Azteca in Mexico, and several more in Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, and Argentina -- at times achieve comparable export successes.
In 1992, one of the first smash global hits, Los Ricos Tam Bien Lloran (The Rich Also Cry), captured some 100 million viewers in Russia alone. Farm workers would abandon tractors at midday and rush inside to catch the latest about the determined young woman forging her destiny in Mexico City, according to the Spanish newspaper El Pais. Despite the ever-present Virgin of Guadalupe, that dark-skinned patron saint of Mexico -- or other Christian symbols in productions from other Latin nations -- novelas have gained audience shares of 80 percent in Indonesia, the nation with the largest Muslim population in the world.
As prime-time entertainment, even daily US soaps do not rival this remarkable Hispanic form of cultural globalization. For example, in the Czech Republic, English-language soaps have only achieved market shares of a few percent, while telenovelas may garner 50 percent of viewers. While daily US soaps are produced for the domestic daytime market, telenovelas aim for worldwide, prime-time audiences. And while American actors see roles in daily soaps as slumming, novela actors are the biggest stars across Latin America: Adela Noriega (who plays Matilde) and Fernando Colunga (who plays Manuel) are among a score of the best-known faces on Latino television. And their fame spreads beyond Latin America: When Veronica Castro and other Mexican telenovela stars went to China, a former Mexican ambassador recalls, they filled sports stadiums, had to be escorted around by police, and blocked traffic across Beijing. Novela performers are huge celebrities, comparable to Oscar-winning stars in the United States; at the same time, they establish far more intimacy with audiences than Hollywood actors do. Visiting viewers' living rooms nightly, they become almost part of the family...