Books & Art by Ana Antunes

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Film Noir and Literature Festival a week from Halloween

It's not a secret that fast-paced plots of suspense and mysterious characters, strange events and thrilling stories appeal to all. And the stories told by some of the best writers in the world have been driven many to chilling bones. Last week we had the First Film Noir and Literature Festival as "Santiago Negro" where there were exposition of comics, films and tabloids as well as some very well-known writers of suspense of our times, Chileans such as Roberto Ampuero, Eduardo Contreras, Ramón Díaz Eterovic and Sergio Gomez, and the Spanish writers Lorenzo Silva, Juan Madrid, Andreu Martín to name a few.

But why all this fascination to all things spooky, mysterious and/or mistical??

There are Halloween Parties in many places, the idea of having one day to be creative and out of the norm is spreading like a sugar candy in the mouth of many. We do celebrate that now in Brazil as much as they do in Chile. It's been like this since I went out of College and it's growing in number. Funny though if you think that Halloween has Celtic origins and it's a Pagan tradition, but few people know the Celts also inhabited in the Iberian peninsula thus South America should have many people who came from there. We do have November First as our official day to mourn those who passed away. But I guess it's a great idea to just let kids have fun, "Trick or Treat" and all than being bored and sick. After all we only get to celebrate Witch's Day once in a year...yeah!! Much better than celebrating Bitch's Day at all, for sure...

"Wuthering Heights" I guess was one of my first literary experiences with the paranormal and mystery. I was a little girl when I first watched the movie, then later on I studied Emily Bronte at high school (an obligatory reading for someone who was actually taken "Translation and Interpretation in English" as a course) and I was already in love with the plot. Also Charles Dickens "David Copperfield" is another story who impressed me deeply and that image of his mother as a portrait on the wall with eyes so vivid and who seemed to being there in the whole story haunted me as a ten year old girl already filled with imaginations.

Which Day is Witches Day? And how has this idea been originated?

Halloween comes from “All Hallows” (hallowed, holy, saint) and it’s considered a very magical time, when the dead walk among the living and the veils between past, present and future may be lifted in prophecy and divination. Now why am I talking about Halloween? Well, we just passed through Spring Equinox, which symbolizes the return of life to Earth, when all things turn from gray to a vivid greenish hallow here in the South Hemisphere, or Fall Equinox in the North, and it is a Thanksgiving time. Why not celebrate those important and magical days as well? Send a flower to a beloved one, send a card to that friend you don’t see a long time, or a good thought to that person you keep some grieving for maybe too long. Or make a picnic into the wood and among friends and family, and give them a generous warming hug, or just shake their hands passing healing energy through your arms and hands. This is charity, as simple as it appears to be! For celebrating life means little things we do to make our lives more free of disturbances. Those little things that we think are so vain, they are actually much more important than sitting around watching the news and feeling powerless before so many tragedies.

We all have a bit of witch in each cell of our bodies… We are all magical in our own way. Every time we remember of someone and all of a sudden this same one calls us and says, “I was thinking of you!” And when someone from our far away past sends us an unexpected email saying that he didn’t know why but he had this urge to contact you for a week and that same week you were thinking of that person, for no reason, and the day before you passed a house that just resembled his home where you used to play together in your infancy times. And it happened that this person had a message for you, or he came exactly when you need that sweet touch. Or when you pray for your children when they are sounded quietly asleep on the other room. And the day after, your child hurts himself and you kiss his arm and he suddenly feels no more pain and gives you a smile.

So we all are witches in the sense of realizing our dreams, of having that old wise woman flying in a broom (our intuition and our own imagination) inside of us, saying which way to turn, to pick a pic, “tickle a trick or two or treat a treacle too”, seize or cease and sizzle! Have Yourself an Unforgettable "Hallo In"... And Happy Halloween!

A Mystery Novel by Ana Bowlova

The night of glooming halo, out and in,
And gauzy witty witches were not seen.
Some are red, and others light green.
Some are so bright they actually gleam.

This is the night when swiftly souls fly
On whizzing broom (or room) on starry sky.
They stir up the clouds of their minds
And begin a new day with magical signs.

This is the night when old wives tell stories
Fascinating us with their charm and glories.
Wishes, spells, they offer spins around the fire,
As we can hear their whispers as a perfect choir.

This is the night when holographic angels flow
Through the gardens or winging on the snow.
They cleanse the houses and spread new rhymes
So that we are all ready for the Christmas time.
Ana Antunes