Edgardo Cozarinsky

Last updated
Edgardo Cozarinsky in 2015. Edgardo Cozarinsky.jpg
Edgardo Cozarinsky in 2015.

Edgardo Cozarinsky (Spanish pronunciation:  [eðˈɣaɾðo kosaˈɾinski] ; born 1939 in Buenos Aires, [1] Argentina) is a writer and filmmaker. He is best known for his Spanish-language novel Vudú urbano.



Cozarinsky was born to an Argentine family of Ukrainian-Jewish descent. His name reflects his mother's enthusiasm for the writings of Edgar Allan Poe, while his surname comes from his grandparents, Ukrainian Jewish immigrants who arrived in Argentina from Kiev and Odessa in the late nineteenth century.

After an adolescence spent in neighbourhood cinemas showing double bills of old Hollywood films and reading an inordinate amount of fiction in Spanish, English and French (favourite authors – Robert Louis Stevenson, Joseph Conrad, Henry James), he studied literature at Buenos Aires University, wrote for local and Spanish cinephile magazines, and published an early essay on James, which he developed from his university thesis – El laberinto de la apariencia (The Labyrinth of Appearance, 1964), a book which he later suppressed. In his early twenties he became acquainted with Jorge Luis Borges, Adolfo Bioy Casares and Silvina Ocampo in Buenos Aires. In 1973 he won a literary prize for his essay on gossip as narrative device in the writings of James and Proust. In 1974 he published Borges y el cine, a book that he expanded in every reprint (Spain, 1978 and 2002, and translations). He has since that time also declined to have this book reprinted.

Cozarinsky visited Europe from September 1966 to June 1967, stopping for a visit to New York City on his return to Buenos Aires. Arriving back home, he more fully committed himself to his writing. He wrote for the culture sections of the Argentine weeklies Primera Plana and Panorama, then he produced his first film. It was an underground feature shot on weekends over the course of a year, knowing that it could not pass the local censorship of the period. It was nevertheless screened at festivals throughout Europe and the United States. Its title was already a challenge – ... ( Puntos suspensivos – Dot Dot Dot).

During the turmoil of Argentina's Dirty War, Cozarinsky left Buenos Aires for Paris, where he concentrated on his filmmaking. He produced fiction films and "essays", mixing documentary material with personal reflections on the material. The most distinguished of these is La Guerre d'un seul homme (One Man's War, 1981), a confrontation between Ernst Jünger's wartime diaries and French newsreels of the occupation period. At a time when European television networks were willing to support such ventures, Cozarinsky was able to develop this approach in a series of original works.

During the period 1970-1990, Cozarinsky published little. However, his sole novel from the period gained a wide audience - Vudú urbano (Urban voodoo, 1985), a mixture of fiction and essay not unlike his film work, with prologues by Susan Sontag and Cuban writer Guillermo Cabrera Infante.

Cozarinsky returned to Buenos Aires for a short stay after the end of Argentina's military junta. He then returned three years later to produce Guerreros y cautivas (Warriors and Captive Women), filmed in the country's far southern reaches. He visited Argentina several times after that, occasionally filming segments or backgrounds for his films. His most adventurous later films were Rothschild's Violin and Ghosts of Tangier, both made between 1995 and 1996.

Cozarinsky was diagnosed with cancer in 1999. This motivated him to dedicate his remaining time to his writing. [2] While still in the hospital following his diagnosis he wrote the first two stories for La novia de Odessa (The Bride from Odessa). From that date on, his film work became sparse and he started publishing "all the books I had not put on paper", fiction mostly but also essays and chronicles. He became established as a Spanish-language writer, and his works were also translated into several other languages.

During this period he spent most of his time in Buenos Aires, returning to Paris for regular short stays. In 2005 he wrote and directed a play (Squash) and wrote a mini-opera Raptos (Raptures). In that year he also appeared on the alternative stage along with his medical doctor, in one of Vivi Tellas' "documentary theater" ventures -Cozarinsky y su médico. In 2008 he started work on the libretto for a chamber opera with the musician Pablo Mainetti – Ultramarina, based on motives from his own novel El rufián moldavo (The Moldavian Pimp).

Cozarinsky has filmed in such diverse locations as Budapest, Rotterdam, Tallinn, Tangiers, Vienna, Granada, Saint Petersburg, Seville and Patagonia. He presently alternates most of his time between Buenos Aires and Paris. [3]

Partial bibliography

Film work (feature-length and short films, fiction and "essays")

Related Research Articles

Adolfo Bioy Casares Argentine novelist (1914–1999)

Adolfo Bioy Casares was an Argentine fiction writer, journalist, diarist, and translator. He was a friend and frequent collaborator with his fellow countryman Jorge Luis Borges, and is the author of the fantastic fiction novel The Invention of Morel.

Leopoldo Lugones

Leopoldo Antonio Lugones Argüello was an Argentine poet, essayist, novelist, playwright, historian, professor, translator, biographer, philologist, theologian, diplomat, politician and journalist. His poetic writings are often considered to be the founding works of Spanish-language modern poetry. His short stories made him a crucial precursor and also a pioneer of both the fantastic and science fiction literature in Argentina.

Julio Cortázar Argentinian writer

Julio Cortázar, born Julio Florencio Cortázar was an Argentine novelist, short story writer, essayist, and translator. Known as one of the founders of the Latin American Boom, Cortázar influenced an entire generation of Spanish-speaking readers and writers in America and Europe.

Alberto Manguel

Alberto Manguel is an Argentine-Canadian anthologist, translator, essayist, novelist, editor, and a former Director of the National Library of Argentina. He is the author of numerous non-fiction books such as The Dictionary of Imaginary Places, A History of Reading (1996), The Library at Night (2007) and Homer's Iliad and Odyssey: A Biography (2008); and novels such as News From a Foreign Country Came (1991). Though almost all of Manguel's books were written in English, two of his novels were written in Spanish, and El regreso has not yet been published in English. Manguel has also written film criticism such as Bride of Frankenstein (1997) and collections of essays such as Into the Looking Glass Wood (1998). In 2007, Manguel was selected to be that year's annual lecturer for the prestigious Massey Lectures. in 2021, he gave the Roger Lancelyn Green lecture to the Lewis Carroll Society on his love of the 'Alice' stories from Lewis Carroll.

Eduardo Mallea

Eduardo Mallea was an Argentine essayist, cultural critic, writer and diplomat. In 1931 he became editor of the literary magazine of La Nación.

Fernando Solanas Argentine film director

Fernando Ezequiel "Pino" Solanas was an Argentine film director, screenwriter, and politician. His films include; La hora de los hornos (1968), Tangos: el exilio de Gardel (1985), Sur (1988), El viaje (1992), La nube (1998) and Memoria del saqueo (2004), among many others. He was National Senator representing the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires for six years, from 2013 to 2019.

Ricardo Piglia

Ricardo Piglia was an Argentine author, critic, and scholar best known for introducing hard-boiled fiction to the Argentine public.

Cinema of Argentina

Cinema of Argentina refers to the film industry based in Argentina. The Argentine cinema comprises the art of film and creative movies made within the nation of Argentina or by Argentine filmmakers abroad.

Mecha Ortiz Argentine actress

Mecha Ortiz was a classic Argentine actress who appeared in film between 1937 and 1981, during the Golden Age of Argentine Cinema. At the 1944 Argentine Film Critics Association Awards, Ortiz won the Silver Condor Award for Best Actress for her performance in Safo, historia de una pasión (1943) and won it again in 1946 for her performance in El canto del cisne (1945). She was known as the Argentine Greta Garbo and for playing mysterious characters, who suffered by past misfortunes in love, mental disorders, or forbidden love. Safo, historia de una pasión was the first erotic Argentine film, though there was no nudity. She also played in the first film in which a woman struck a man and the first film with a lesbian romance. In 1981, she was awarded the Grand Prize for actresses from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Luis Bayón Herrera

Luis Bayón Herrera was a Spanish film director and screenwriter who worked in Argentine film of the 1940s and 1950s. He was "one of the most important directors of the golden age of Argentine cinema".

<i>The Gaucho War</i> 1942 film

The Gaucho War is a 1942 Silver Condor award-winning Argentine historical drama and epic film directed by Lucas Demare and starring Enrique Muiño, Francisco Petrone, Ángel Magaña, and Amelia Bence. The film's script, written by Homero Manzi and Ulyses Petit de Murat, is based on the novel by Leopoldo Lugones published in 1905. The film premiered in Buenos Aires on November 20, 1942 and is considered by critics of Argentine cinema to be one of the most successful films in history. It won three Silver Condor awards, including Best Film, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay, given by the Argentine Film Critics Association at the 1943 Argentine Film Critics Association Awards for the best films and performances of the previous year.

Abel Posse

Abel Parentini Posse,, is an Argentine novelist, essayist, poet, career diplomat and politician.

Hugo Santiago

Hugo Santiago Muchnick was an Argentine film director.

Francisco Madrid

Francisco "Paco" Madrid was a Spanish (Catalan) journalist, writer and screenwriter.

Duilio Marzio

Duilio Marzio was a well-known Argentine cinema and theatre actor.

Carlos María Domínguez

Carlos María Domínguez is an Argentine writer and journalist who lives in Montevideo since 1989.

Lumiton Argentine film production company

Lumiton was a film production company founded in Argentina in 1932 at the start of the golden age of film in that country. Its lowbrow, populist films appealed to local audiences and were highly successful in Argentina and throughout Latin America. It was the main competitor to Argentina Sono Film in the 1940s. After World War II (1939–45) Lumiton faced increased government regulation, rising costs and loss of audiences to more sophisticated Hollywood productions. The company was forced to close in 1952.

Aurelia Del Carmen Guarini is an Argentine anthropologist, teacher, film director, and film producer specializing in anthropological documentary films. She teaches visual anthropology and directs documentaries in Argentina and in Cuba. She serves on the documentary projects' evaluation committee at the National Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual Arts and participates in Cine Ojo projects.

Ernesto Mallo is an Argentine writer. He was born in La Plata in the province of Buenos Aires. He has published in a wide variety of genres including stage plays, cinema scripts, essays and short stories. However, he is best known for his novels, the first of which appeared in 2006. Since then, he has published several more novels.

Jorge Álvarez (producer) Argentinian record producer

Jorge Álvarez was an Argentine publisher and record producer, considered one of the most important promoters of Argentine culture in the 1960s and 1970s, first in the world of literature and later in the world of music.


  1. IMDb.com
  2. In his own words: "I always wanted to be a writer, and had not dared publish, even finish what I started..."
  3. He considers Buenos Aires his pleasure basis and Paris his cultural "department store".