The Spanish Cinematheque state film institute has found a film treatment by young Columbian magic realist author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, which was sent to the surrealist filmmaker Luis Buñuel in 1962, the Spanish newspaper El Pais reported on Sunday 30 October.
“It’s likely that they intended to make a film together,” said the Cinematheque curator Javier Herera, without saying why the film did not materialise.
Garcia sent the treatment to Bunuel, exiled from Franco’s Spain to Mexico, after Bunuel’s screenwriter, Luis Alcoriza, introduced the two men.
The treatment began: “Three pretty girls, happy, enterprising, who despite being first cousins, don’t know each other, arrive in the capital from various places in the provinces, excited by the news that their unmarried uncle has left them an inheritance...”
“The girls see their dream vanish when they learn that the supposed goldmine is merely a sleepy gas station. But then, through a series of mishaps and scandals, they make the business a success.”
Though Columbia’s Garcia Marquez had published several short stories and two novels in 1962, he had not yet been crowned one of the Hispanic world’s most important authors. His Nobel prize in literature was some 20 years away.
Spanish-Mexican director Bunuel, in contrast, was considered one of the world’s foremost filmmakers when Garcia Marquez approached him. By the 1960s, Bunuel’s body of work included the surrealist film Un Chien Andalou, created with the Spanish painter Salvador Dali, and Los Olvidados, which depicted child poverty in 1940s Mexico City.
Garcia Marquez, 84, spends most of his time in Mexico City. He could not be reached for comment.