04 March 2010
I am not a film aficionado. I was totally unfamiliar with Robert Rodriguez, the director who is the subject of a conversation between Charly Cruz and Fate at pages 280 to 281. When describing a film that Robert Rodriquez directed under another name, Cruz refers to his distinctive style. The Wikipedia article describes Rodriguez's style as one that involves “quick cuts, intense zooms, and fast camera movements deployed with a sense of humor that offsets the action.”
Later, we see the first half of a video at Charly Cruz's house that I have repeated referred to as one that I take to be a “snuff film.” Pages 320-21. At a minimum it is hardcore pornography. Cruz claims that this is the film made by Rodriguez under the name Johnny Swiggerson. (And of course at the end of this video fragment, the camera zooms in on a mirror.)
It strikes me as particularly bizarre that Bolaño would make use of a real person, Robert Rodriguez, in this way, public figure or not. Overall, it seems to me that Bolaño's repeated references to living contemporary people in similar ways to this is one of his devices for creating verisimilitude. At times he also slyly comments upon a living person's work through his fictional characters. Is Bolaño himself saying here that some of Robert Rodriguez's films are nothing more than "snuff films?"
I believe that we will come back to this whole subject in connection with The Part About the Crimes.