Fernando Soler in the United States

In a couple of weeks, next Monday May 24 to be exact, it will be celebrating 125 years of the birth of the first actor of the Golden Age of our cinema, Fernando Soler.

Born in the capital of the state of Coahuila, on May 24, 1896, in a hotel in the Historic Center of Saltillo from the union of a couple of actors who were part of an artistic caravan that stopped in the city on that date, Fernando Díaz Pavia (his first name) was just a few months ahead of the official date of the arrival of the invention of the Lumiére brothers, the cinematographer, to our country, which landed in our country after the screening in Paris, on the 28th of December 1895, with which the cinema officially began as a mass spectacle given the close relationship that the government headed by the then president Porfirio Díaz had with the Gallic country and when it was projected in the Castle of Chapultepec, on August 14, 1896 , officially started the cinematographic work in Mexico.

Like many actors of his generation, who grew up in the midst of the social uncertainty that caused the conflict of the Mexican Revolution, Fernando moved to the then incipient Mecca of Cinema when he had just reached the age of majority, and that is why the first film In which it still took part without credit, it was manufactured in the United States and under the direction of Wilfred Lucas it premiered in 1915 under the title “The Spanish Jade”.

Back in Mexico and dedicated like his parents and brothers to the theater, it was not until a year after the start of the talkies in Mexico with “Santa” (Antonio Moreno, 1931) when, already converted into Fernando Soler, he starred in his first film entitled “When? do you commit suicide? ” (Manuel Romero, 1932), towards the end of the decade he filmed a film financed by the Cantabria Films company of the producer Jaime del Amo for Columbia Pictures that under the title of “Verbena Tragica” (Charles Lamont, 1939), a rescue that preserves and makes the area of ​​the University of California in Los Angeles called UCLA Film & Television Archive available to large global audiences this afternoon at 6:00 p.m. through Facebook Live.

The film that was very successful in the cinemas of the Mexican neighborhoods of Los Angeles when it was released in those latitudes despite taking place in the Hispanic part of Harlem of New York City is set on the eve of the Day of the Year celebrations. Race when a boxer named Mateo (Fernando Soler) returns home after having spent a season in prison to discover that his wife is pregnant and for obvious reasons he is not the father of the child, which leads to the “Verbena Tragica ”Of the title.

Ironically, in the absence of an event on the horizon that commemorates the birthday of the first actor of Saltillo origin, this is an anticipated celebration that is a real luxury because it is the only occasion that this film is shown in streaming followed by a conversation with Latin American film historian Colin Gunckel and UCLA Film, Theater and Television television professor María Elena de las Carreras, moderated by the scriptwriter and programmer of the Los Angeles Latin American Cinematheque, Guido Segal. If you have a chance, don’t miss it.

Comments to: galindo.alfredo@gmail.com; Twitter: @AlfredoGalindo

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