San Cantinflas

San Cantinflas

12 August 2011

The Chaplin latino… whose verbosity always exasperated the foremen and dictators of the latin world. It was a day like today Mario Moreno “Cantinflas” was born in the Mexican capital of DF. Celebrated as a touchstone of Mexican national identity the droopy-pants character is now an omnipresent image across the Mexican capital.

 Cantinflas is the essence of Mexico (or has been for a long time). His “peladito” character puts voice and image to all those Mexicans who tried to survive in the streets with some craftiness and a lot of humor (“there must be something wrong with work, or rich people would already be all over it” he used to say).

He was the best example of the American (in this case Mexican) dream. From a very humble and large family (12 brothers) from the even poorer Tepito neighborhood, Mario used to work at the circus being young without telling his parents. He also tried luck with boxing and bull-fighting before becoming the international figure (with a respectable fortune) he became in the 40s & 50s.

Fortino Mario Alfonso Moreno Reyes

So in his birth centenary you can imagine what’s like in Mexico these days…. with a just published biography and many other books about to be released…. rumors about a 3D version of his Oscar-winning “Around the world in 80 days“, another movie about his life, animated series….

He’s back from the death… and you know how Mexicans love that. Cantinflas himself, left himself a message for his own graveyard… “It looks like he’s gone, but not really”.

Most of his movies can be found on-line (youtube)  and accessible via this facebook page.

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