The only negative aspect of the recent Icarus Films DVD release of the biofilm "gabo: The Creation of Gabriel Garcia" is that it enhances guilt regarding unread copies of "100 Years of Solitude" and "News of a Kidnapping" collecting dust for years. The film further provides embarrassment regarding Bill Pullman/Bill Paxton style confusion concerning the late titular novelist and fellow Nobel Prize winning Colombian writer Mario Vargas Llosa. As an aside, "Aunt Julia and the Screenwriter" by Llosa remains an all-time favorite novel.
Icarus nicely times this release to coincide with the DVD premiere of "I Don't Belong Here: The Cinema of Chnatal Akerman." That (Unreal TV reviewed) documentary provides the same insight into the creative process of the titular legendary filmmaker as "gabo" offers regarding the workings of the mind of Marquez.
The aptly described teaser (courtesy of YouTube) below for "gabo" provides a small taste of the apt love and respect for this man by those who knew him best. Getting a full sense of that sensibility requires watching the film.
The comprehensive scope of "gabo" extends well beyond the literal cradle to grave coverage of the life of this novelist/journalist/mentor/political activist. It supplements interview footage of Marquez with reminiscences by friends, family, colleagues, a biographer, and potential First Husband Bill Clinton.
The approach that "gabo" takes regarding its subject is to demonstrate how the on-again-off-again rags-to-riches life of this genuine literary icon affects the novels that we either know and love or really should take off the bookshelf and read. The overall pattern is that Marquez transforms his real-life experiences into literary masterpieces that reflect his reality to varying degrees.
Perhaps the most highly relatable example of the approach of filmmaker Justin Webster is showing how the experience of an early childhood living with his highly superstitious grandmother and more level-headed Army officer veteran grandfather leads to the "magical realism" that Marquez creates in "Solitude."
We further see how both the reporting and the fiction writing that Marquez produces and his related life experiences prompt comparisons to Ernest Hemingway. Seeing Marquez respond to a reference to that comparison while in the company of frienemy Fidel Castro makes the film.
Speaking of Castro, Webster nicely documents how Marquez plays a shadow role regarding the leadership of Castro. We further see how Clinton utilizes that relationship.
It is sad that Marquez never has a chance to write about a national leader who must contend with both a domineering wife who is rumored to be having an affair with a sitcom actress at the same time that a serious indiscretion threatens to topple his administration. Your not-so-humble reviewer would put that Marquez novel at the top of his "to-read" pile.
An apt summary for this neo book report is that we clearly see how both the personal experiences of Marquez shape his psyche and his involvement with many important events (including the rise of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar) in South America. As such, 'gabo" provides the bonus of being a cursory study of the 20th century history of that region.
The DVD extras consist of deleted scenes.
Anyone with questions or comments regarding "gabo" is strongly encouraged to email me. You also can connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.