Colin Bar­r­a­clough re­veals some of the real set­tings used in Love in the Time of Cholera

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel -

HOL­LY­WOOD’S take on Love in the Time of Cholera may anger lit­er­ary purists. ‘‘ We’ll cer­tainly take some black eyes, partly for do­ing it in English but mostly for hav­ing tried in the first place,’’ ad­mits Bri­tish di­rec­tor Mike Newell (of Four Wed­dings and a Funeral fame).

‘‘ A lot of peo­ple be­lieve shouldn’t touch holy work.’’

Gabriel Gar­cia Mar­quez, who is near de­i­fied by ad­mir­ers of South Amer­i­can lit­er­a­ture, has long re­sisted turn­ing his nov­els into cin­ema.

It took three years of woo­ing be­fore Stone Vil­lage Pic­tures’ pro­ducer Scott Stein­dorff, an Amer­i­can who made his money as a prop­erty de­vel­oper in Las Ve­gas, fi­nally wrested a deal from Mar­quez for the film rights to his 1985 novel.

Ini­tially plan­ning to shoot the movie in Brazil, Stein­dorff says he’s grate­ful Colom­bian au­thor­i­ties per­suaded him to switch to Carta­gena, which he de­scribes as ‘‘ one of the most ro­man­tic cities in the world’’.

The plot, loosely based on the story of Mar­quez’s par­ents, fol­lows an in­cur­able ro­man­tic, Florentino Ariza (played by Spain’s Javier Bar­dem), who loses the love of his life, Fer­mina Daza, (played by Italy’s Gio­vanna Mez­zo­giorno), but de­votes the fol­low­ing half-

you cen­tury pre­par­ing for the day he might once again have her.

Carta­gena has hosted film shoots in the past, in­clud­ing the 1968 thriller Burn , star­ring Mar­lon Brando, and the Academy Award-win­ning The Mis­sion (1986). Grace Kelly even filmed Green Fire here in the 1950s.

As the first main­stream film shot in the city since the ’ 80s, how­ever, Lovein the Time of Cholera has gen­er­ated a sig­nif­i­cant buzz.

Teatro Heredia: With its or­nate gold-leaf in­te­rior and ex­cel­lent acous­tics, this stun­ning theatre pro­vided Newell with a lo­ca­tion for a po­etry com­pe­ti­tion in Love in the Time of Cholera . Now the home of Carta­gena’s bal­let com­pany, it hosted the Miss Colom­bia pageant and Mar­quez’s 80th birth­day party.

Con­vento de San Pe­dro Claver: Also a mu­seum, this monastery pro­vided Newell with a key lo­ca­tion. Fer­mina Daza, the story’s lead­ing lady, elects to be mar­ried here to punc­til­ious doc­tor Ju­ve­nal Urbino.

Casa del Mar­ques de Valde­hoyos: Built as the city’s largest private res­i­dence by the slave-trad­ing Mar­quis of Valde­hoyos, this house pro­vided brief sanc­tu­ary to in­de­pen­dence hero Si­mon Bo­li­var shortly be­fore his death in 1830. Now a gov­ern­ment-owned cen­tre for cul­tural events, the build­ing fea­tures in the film as the home of Lorenzo Daza, Fer­mina’s fa­ther.

Es­cuela de Bel­las Artes: Carta­gena’s colo­nial-era Fine Arts School build­ing pro­vided two lo­ca­tions. Its ex­te­rior served as the col­lege where Florentino picks up Amer­ica Vi­cuna, while scenes from Fer­mina’s school were filmed in the in­te­rior.

Mu­sic stu­dents at the school form the choir that sings in the funeral and Christ­mas Eve mass scenes.

Fuerte de la Te­naza: Form­ing part of the Old City walls, this fort pro­vided the lo­ca­tion for the boat dock where Fer­mina and Florentino depart on their hon­ey­moon cruise. It is lo­cated di­rectly above Las Bovedas, a for­mer mu­ni­tions dump that houses sou­venir shops. LoveintheTimeofCholera opened across Aus­tralia on Thurs­day.


While not spec­i­fy­ing Carta­gena, the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment ad­vises trav­ellers to ex­er­cise a high de­gree of cau­tion in Colom­bia be­cause of the high threat of ter­ror­ism and crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity. More: www.smar­trav­

New ro­man­tics: A scene from Love in the Time of Cholera, filmed in Carta­gena

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