No Me Llores Mas.

24 Aug

Héctor Lavoe » & Willie Colón »:

This is a note from Willie Colón’s website », about the movie El Cantante »:

“EL CANTANTE
The Creators of El Cantante missed an opportunity to do something of relevance for our community. The real story was about Hector fighting the obstacles of a non-supportive industry that took advantage of entertainers with his charisma and talent. Instead they did another movie about two Puerto Rican junkies. The impact of drugs in the entertainment industry is nothing new; look at Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and Whitney Houston today.

I think Hector deserves the recognition the movie pretended to give him. However, as someone who advised the producers, it’s painfully obvious that they didn’t understand what made him so important. It was the music. It was his talent. They didn’t understand or respect the true importance of our music to people around the world. It’s difficult to comprehend how two individuals who are in the music business like Marc and Jennifer are not aware of the damage and the consequences of promoting only the negative side of our Latin music culture.

I was disappointed that there wasn’t a minimal effort to correct what I felt were serious chronological and factual errors. This tells me that they expeditiously crafted the simplest cliché script in order to just make a film quickly.

After the premier of El Cantante in Puerto Rico there were several statements of protest by people who had supported and participated in the project until they saw it. Their complaints were not about sour grapes or J-lo and Marc bashing but from a sense of betrayal and disappointment.

We are all invested in the world that this movie represents. For many of us the hope of our story finally being told sank into the horizon with the final version of this film.

Willie Colón”

Well, I saw the movie and I thought the music made the movie.  It was neat to learn a little bit about how the careers of various artists weaved into each other, like that moment when Willie Colón and Héctor Lavoe first meet, or that moment when Rubén Blades » gifts Héctor Lavoe with the song, “El Cantante”.  It is a bit disturbing, though, to now learn there are some chronological errors in the film.

It is probably best to watch the movie with eyes half-closed, to get the frenetic drug-induced effect the director was probably going for. I remember thinking, “Oh, I get it, this is what doing drugs must feel like.” I also remember thinking, “Ok, I know that Héctor Lavoe put out a lot of music, and he couldn’t have been on drugs all the time, so less drugs and more music please.”

Pretty damning to have even Willie Colón come out and neg the film. Still, what else is out there for a salsa addict to watch? So I would still recommend the film, at least when it comes out on video.  Watch it when you are down with the cold, or when you are on (prescription) drugs or something … when you can’t go out and dance.  In the meantime, here is some more great music, because that’s what it’s all about:

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