On August 5th, hundreds gathered at the historic John Anson Ford Amphitheatre in Hollywood to watch the 50th anniversary screening of the classic Mexican western Tiempo de Morir. The film, co-written by Gabriel García Márquez and Carlos Fuentes, and directed by Arturo Ripstein, attracted people from all across Los Angeles, some familiar with Libros Schmibros and others not. Before the screening began, guests enjoyed food and drinks with family and friends on the newly renovated Ford Theatre grounds.
David Kipen opened the event by warmly welcoming the crowd and sharing with them the origin and mission of Libros Schmibros. Next, Los Angeles Times film critic Mark Olsen interviewed Gabriel García Márquez’s son Rodrigo García, an acclaimed director and screenwriter who released his latest film, Last Days in the Desert, earlier this year. They discussed his father’s career in cinema and the ideas behind the story for Tiempo de Morir. Although García Márquez allowed some of his novels to become films, he never adapted them himself, recognizing how difficult that would be. Rodrigo, however, remarked that perhaps now with the help of the latest digital technology it would be possible for a director to do justice to his father’s greatest novel, the wildly imaginative One Hundred Years of Solitude. Continue reading
Pergentino José Ruíz reads The Midnight Bird at Libros Schmibros, August 2016
Pergentino José Ruíz reads The Midnight Bird at Libros Schmibros, as Chris translates
Pergentino José Ruíz and Chris
Libros staff member Chris translates for the non-Spanish speaking audience members
Pergentino José Ruíz and Chris
Audience members listen as Pergentino José Ruíz reads and Chris translates
On August 13, Libros Schmibros was proud to support indigenous literature in Los Angeles by hosting a trilingual reading of the short story “Midnight Bird” by its Mexican author, Pergentino José Ruíz, and its English translator and Libros Schmibros employee, Chris Ortega. Continue reading
Staff Wall: Chris
Hometown: East Los Angeles
Chris has been a volunteer since 2015 and is also a member of our 2016 summer staff.
How are you?
Good and busy!
How many languages do you speak?
English, Spanish, and Spanglish (Spanglish is totally a valid language, what with all its different dialects and ever-evolving vocabulary…)
How did you first discover Libros?
I was looking for Los Angeles bookstores online and found this quixotic independent library that offered free books to the community. I came in and was so impressed that I wanted in, and now here I am.
What is one hidden gem in Libros Schmibros?
We have a stellar art book section right in the front of the library, and hidden inside it is one of my favorite sub-subsections: the comic book/graphic novel section. My pet project is to grow that collection into something even more beautiful, so if you have comics/graphic novels you want to donate please do so!
How would you describe Mariachi Plaza?
I like how there’s always strains of music in the air.
What book did you choose to keep when you first got your membership to Libros?
I was very happy to grab a copy of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest on my first visit. I’m working my way through it a little at a time, but that book is a beast. Continue reading
We’re reopening September 8th, 2016 after a nice summer hiatus. Come by and say “Hello / Hola”, Thursday to Sunday 12 to 6 PM.
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In 1966, a protegé of Luis Buñuel directed a classic Western from a screenplay written by none other than Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez. Fifty years later, that film will have a rare, one-night-only outdoor screening at the newly restored Ford Theatre in Hollywood. Friday’s screening of Tiempo de Morir (“A Time To Die”) is presented by Libros Schmibros, a Boyle Heights non-profit lending library that also happens to be one of our very favorite places in the city. The film will be screened in Spanish with English subtitles, and will be introduced by García Márquez’s son, director Rodrigo García, who will discuss its importance in Mexican film history.
Tiempo de Morir, which was last seen theatrically in America in 1966, was nominated for the Palme d’or at Cannes and is considered to be a groundbreaking classic of Mexican cinema. The film “essentially jolted the Mexican film industry out of the torpor and censorship it’d been pretty much mired in since the Golden Age,” David Kipen, Libros Schmibros’s founder and the former literature director of the National Endowment for the Arts, told LAist.
“And you couldn’t ask for a better literary pedigree, unless it was co-written by Carlos Fuentes—which it was,” Kipen said. Among other things, Fuentes reportedly “Mexican-ized” Márquez’s dialogue, according to the Harvard Film Archive.
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