"Bless Me, Ultima" also helped guide ...

"Bless Me, Ultima" also helped guide us to this place

There are 14 comments on the El Paso Times story from Sep 2, 2012, titled "Bless Me, Ultima" also helped guide us to this place. In it, El Paso Times reports that:

The Times is publishing guest essays on Rudolfo Anaya's classic novel "Bless Me, Ultima" as part of the El Paso Library's citywide El Paso Reads literacy campaign.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at El Paso Times.

De Ahi

Santa Rosa, NM

#1 Sep 3, 2012
A beautiful novel it is, shame is,it was not filmed where the story is set,too bad. And as the actors, who knows. Mr.Anaya, did you have no say? I for one,will not watch this film.
Un Carro Buick

Albuquerque, NM

#2 Sep 3, 2012
I completely agree with you De Ahi! It's a disgrace that the casting directors brought in actors from Puerto Rico, Argentina, Spain, Mexico, and other "Spanish speaking" countries when our own state is brimming with local "Chicano" talent. Darn it, even California Chicanos would have been better suited at portraying Pecos River Valley and LLano culture than those foreigners.

OH!.....and then to get a Black man to direct the film? Whose brilliant idea was that?

These people won't be getting any of my money either. I'll just re-read the book.
canarde1

Van Nuys, CA

#3 Sep 7, 2012
I worked on the movie in a key role and I live in Santa Rosa. I must say, I shared some of the same reservations you did about the film. However, Carl Franklin is a great writer and a brilliant director. It doesn't matter what color he is, for God's Sake! He did the book proud, even though he had to cut certain key components out of the movie, it was a very sensitive and emotional film.

Some of the voices of the children that live in Santa Rosa were in the film - in the scenes at the school. I recorded for part of a day at the grade school.

I agree that the story could have been better served if the movie makers had delved into the culture of Santa Rosa further. The director did scout locations in Santa Rosa, but apparently wasn't impressed enough by the people who showed him around or what he was shown to shoot there.

The one weak point of the film is the voice over. The director originally had a deep baritone hispanic actor read the words he wrote. However, the executive producer trumped him, re-wrote the voice-over and chose to have Alfred Molina (who's British) read it. It lost about 75 degrees of emotion by doing that.

Carl Franklin worked with Rudolfo Anaya on the script and had "Spanish" consultants on the film. It is too bad that the movie wasn't made the way we know it could have been made, but still, it is a good movie and worth seeing.
MR FLO

Rialto, CA

#4 Sep 8, 2012
Straight to DVD...A friend of mine had Anaya as a Professor....A self absorbed doucher..Robert Rodriguez would have been better..Watch Breaking Bad to immerse yourself in current Guadalupe County culture...
canarde1

Los Angeles, CA

#5 Sep 8, 2012
Ironic... that Breaking Bad and Bless Me, Ultima have the same executive producer, Mark Johnson. He doesn't care about the quality or authenticity of the movie.... he just wants to please the woman who put up the money for the film... an heiress to the Wal-Mart fortune, worth 25 billion dollars. Carl could have used someone to fight against Wal-Mart, but he didn't get it. Carl may not have got the "culture" behind Bless Me correct, but he got the heart of it.
MR FLO

Rialto, CA

#6 Sep 9, 2012
canarde1 wrote:
Ironic... that Breaking Bad and Bless Me, Ultima have the same executive producer, Mark Johnson. He doesn't care about the quality or authenticity of the movie.... he just wants to please the woman who put up the money for the film... an heiress to the Wal-Mart fortune, worth 25 billion dollars. Carl could have used someone to fight against Wal-Mart, but he didn't get it. Carl may not have got the "culture" behind Bless Me correct, but he got the heart of it.
Well said...
senior citizen

Santa Rosa, NM

#7 Sep 9, 2012
That book is an insult to Santa Rosa AND our culture! People did not talk that way back then! Think about it.....ultima was a witch!
canarde1

Los Angeles, CA

#8 Sep 9, 2012
She wasn't a witch, she was a healer that was in-tune with the earth. She learned how to use the medicines that mother nature gave us, and how to use them for good purposes. Perhaps there is more to the universe, than what seems apparent to the naked eye.
Anewnewmexican

United States

#9 Sep 21, 2012
The movie will never be better than the story in my mind no matter who was in it or produced it or paid for it. It's a grand story so i'll spend my 12 bucks invest my two hours have a little snack plop my old butt in the chair and watch a movie that's based on one of my favorites books. This book and others are what brought me to be a new New Mexican....along with the red or green of course!
New Mexico Chicana

El Paso, TX

#10 Oct 10, 2012
senior citizen wrote:
That book is an insult to Santa Rosa AND our culture! People did not talk that way back then! Think about it.....ultima was a witch!
Ultima a witch! Goes to show how little you know about [your] culture.
info

Clovis, NM

#11 Oct 11, 2012
BLESS ME ULTIMA FOR I HAVE SINNED !
mary

Albuquerque, NM

#12 Mar 4, 2013
HMMM
George

Albuquerque, NM

#13 Mar 6, 2013
senior citizen wrote:
That book is an insult to Santa Rosa AND our culture! People did not talk that way back then! Think about it.....ultima was a witch!
Really now, what culture. Oh, I forgot - we're spanish.
book nerd

El Monte, CA

#14 Mar 7, 2013
No matter what novel anyone reads the movie is never going to live up to the standards of your reading. Every single person has a different vision of how the characters are, sound and look. Santa Rosa has changed a lot, and wouldn't have done the book justice anyways. How we speak from the older generations are way different. So you obviously have to work with what you have.
I will see it because, iam that much of a fan to Rudolfo Anaya and it is good that this book has finally gotten the respect it deserves to be brought to us by film. So hopefully you give it a chance.

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