Cinema helps one understand life, reality: Spanish filmmaker

March 4th, 2011 - 9:41 am ICT by IANS  

Miami, March 4 (IANS/EFE) Cinema fulfils the “need for fiction” that is inherent in human beings and helps them “better understand life and reality”, Spanish filmmaker Fernando Trueba has said.

“Writers and filmmakers, with their stories, have enabled us to better understand human beings,” Trueba said during the presentation of his animated feature “Chico & Rita” in Miami.

The director, whose 1992 movie “Belle Epoque” won the Oscar for the best foreign language film, said he had the “sense that this film ought to come to Miami because of its large Hispanic and Cuban population”.

“Chico & Rita” will open this year’s Miami International Film Festival Friday.

The film, winner of a Goya prize in Spain for best animated film, has some political overtones but is above all a love story, a “bolero full of music and romanticism”, he said.

Co-directed by Trueba with designer and illustrator Javier Mariscal, the film tells a heart-wrenching love story involving Chico, a poor piano player with big dreams, and Rita, a beautiful singer, who meet by chance one night in 1948 at Havana’s Tropicana nightclub.

Their passionate love affair stretches over several decades and transports the audience on a whirlwind journey to New York, Paris, Hollywood and Las Vegas.

The film is “very Cuban and very American too” because it is not only the story of Chico and Rita but “a love story between Havana and New York”, he said.

The movie also pays homage to Cuban music with a soundtrack featuring tunes by jazz, mambo and Latin music legends such as Dizzy Gillespie, Israel “Cachao” Lopez, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Chano Pozo and Tito Puente.

Ninety-two-year-old Cuban pianist Bebo Valdes was responsible for the soundtrack, which also features some of his own compositions like “Cachao creador del mambo” and “Blues for Andre (Bebo’s Blues)”.


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