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Gabriel García Márquez: The Actor, Screenwriter And Film Critic: 7 Magical Realism Films To Honor The Great Colombian Novelist

04.23.2014 | By |

According to, Gabriel García Márquez, one of the greatest literary minds of the 20th century, passed away last week at his home in Mexico City. He was 87. The late 1982 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature was known all over the world for his magical realism style and successful novels, but the author also enjoyed many more passions, and one of the biggest was film.

Before his career as a one of the greatest novelist, a young García Márquez chased the dream of cinema, which is what eventually led him to find his way into his most acclaimed masterpiece. According to, el Gabo, as he was also known, wanted to be a screenwriter. He wrote several screenplays like: “El Gallo De Oro,” “En Este Pueblo No Hay Ladrones,” and “Tiempo De Morir” before becoming disillusioned with industry. Tired of the whims of directors and producers he left the film world, and later on during a drive to Acapulco the story for “One Hundred Years of Solitude” came to him and allowed him entry into the world of universal literature through the big door, added the publication. 

As a renowned novelist he mended his relationship with film and later on even gifted some of his pieces to the big screen because as he himself said: “Cinema and I are like a mishandled marriage, I can’t live with him or without him.”

In honor of this Colombian literary genius and his passion for cinema, here 7 distinguished magical realism films:

7. “Like Water For Chocolate” Alfonso Arau (1992)

Based on the best-selling novel by Laura Esquival, this romance tells the story of Tita – the youngest of three daughters in a traditional Mexican family, bound to remain unmarried to take care of her mother. As fate goes, she falls in a forbidden love, but soon discovers that her cooking has magical effects.

6. “Amélie” Jean-Pierre Jeunet (2001)

Misdiagnosed with an unusual heart condition, little Amélie wasn’t allow to go to school with other children, but instead was forced to spent her childhood in her room where she let her imagination run wild in her own whimsical fantasy world. Now a young woman, she moves into the central part of Paris and becomes a waitress, but soon takes up a second gig trying to change the lives of the people around her for the better, which eventually leads her on a personal quest for love.

5. “A Little Princess” Alfonso Cuaron (1995)

Set during World War I, 10-year-old Sara Crewe is placed in a New York City boarding school while her father heads overseas to fight. Filled with a big imagination and wild stories, Sara soon clashes with headmistress, Miss Minchin, who tries to squash all her fantasies. The girl’s life takes a severe turn when word comes that her father was killed in combat. Suddenly impoverished, Sara is forced into servitude at the boarding school, but the power of her imagination helps bring hope for the future.

4. “Midnight in Paris” Woody Allen (2011)

While on a trip to Paris with his fiancée’s family, Gil, a successful Hollywood screenwriter struggles to write his first novel. He becomes enamored with the city and thinks his fiancée and he should move there and get married, but the materialistic Inez does not share the same nostalgia and is intent on living in Malibu. One night when she goes off dancing with her friends, Gil takes a midnight walk that magically transports him back in time to the 1920s and gives him the ultimate inspiration for writing.

3. “Beasts of the Southern Wild” Benh Zeitlin (2012)

Hushpuppy, an imaginative six-year-old, lives with her hot-tempered father, Wink, in the Bathtub, a ramshackle bayou community. At the same time that her father becomes mysteriously ill, temperatures rise, and the ice caps melt unleashing an army of frozen prehistoric creatures called Aurochs. As the rising waters and beast threaten her home Hushpuppy must find the courage from within.

2. “Life of Pi” Ang Lee (2012)

Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel, an Indian man now living in Canada, tells the story of his 16-year-old self when a storm shook his life. His family, owners of a zoo in India, decided it was best to move the zoo to Canada and they board a Japanese cargo ship along with their animals. During an unexpected storm the ship is destroyed and his family dies. The only survivors are a zebra, an orangutan, a hyena and a male Bengal tiger nicknamed Richard Parker all aboard a life boat adrift the Pacific Ocean. As hunger and exhaustion strike, Pi has to find a way to survive.

1. “Pan’s Labyrinth” Guillermo del Toro (2006)

Five years after the Spanish Civil War, the journey of an imaginative girl begins. A haunting fantasy-drama set in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War and detailing the strange journeys of an imaginative young girl, Mercedes. Sent along with her pregnant mother to live with her stepfather, a sadistic and ruthless army captain, one night, with the help of a fairy, Mercedes finds an escape into her own magical world in an overgrown abandoned labyrinth where a faun creature lives. He tells her that she is a princess, but to gain the tittle she must survive three gruesome tasks.

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