Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Thursday, 12 April 2012 23:00

"Chico and Rita" Swing to Jazz

"Chico and Rita" Swing to Jazz libertasfilmmagazine.com
Written by Diane Carson
Rate this item
(0 votes)

About this Media...

  • Director: Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal, Tono Errando
  • Dates: Opens April 13, 2012

A lovely pairing of first-rate animation and well-chosen jazz makes the Spanish film Chico and Rita a multifaceted pleasure, despite a conventional scenario. Set primarily in Cuba in the late 40s and early 50s, the story begins with an elderly Chico remembering the love of his life, the mellifluous-voiced singer Rita.

The love-struck Chico pursues Rita after accidentally crossing paths with her at a Havana nightclub and just as fortuitously is drafted to play the piano when the pianist gets sick. Long story short, Chico and Rita become a successful pair. But though Chico professes his passion for Rita, his current lover refuses to leave gracefully, motivating Rita to strike out on her own with an equally untrustworthy manager, Ramon. Immensely talented, Rita soon beguiles audiences in New York, Paris, Hollywood and Las Vegas. A contrite Chico will pursue her with heavy heart and, even decades later, dwell on the love of his life.

Co-directors Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal and Tono Errando fail to add creative dimensions to a trite tale, but their animation enlivens it nonetheless. Chico and Rita move through rich backdrops with distinctive, nicely detailed venues. In fact, the colorful backdrops have such busy, eye-catching activity that they upstage the clichéd characters in several instances. Adding pleasure for any jazz lover, the music expresses jazz's glory days with the brilliant musicians represented including Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Cole Porter, Woody Herman and Freddy Cole. Rita's vocals by Idania Valdes and Chico's piano playing further enhance the mood and texture of the star-crossed lovers' difficulties. Most exciting, legendary Cuban musician Bebo Valdés, who played piano in Havana clubs in the 40s and 50s, composed original music for the soundtrack. The film is dedicated to him, now in his mid-90s.

An appealing energy and pleasant pace propel events that capture the racist and sexist time period as well as the musical rhythms. Though it's animation, this feature film is not for children since the mature subject matter includes a few explicit sex scenes, with, as typical, female nudity. Chico and Rita won Spain's top animated feature film award, the Goya, in 2011 and was nominated for an Academy Award as well. In Spanish with English subtitles. At a Landmark Theatre.

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

KDHX Recommends

February
Sunday
01

Discovery Series

The Discovery Series, a 10-event series spanning February to June, 2015, will not only bring you new music, but also music-focused interactive sessions that take a look at how music plays a role in our society. Each month the...


February
Monday
02

Fringe Third Annual Quick Draw - Artist networking and lottery drawing

This event marks the final step of the selection process for shows in the 2015 St. Lou Fringe Festival … but more importantly, it is a one-of-a-kind inside look at the city’s bravest, most creative performing passion...


February
Friday
06

Leo Kottke

KDHX welcomes Leo Kottke to The Sheldon on Friday, February 6th at 8 PM. Folk guitarist Leo Kottke is known for his innovative 12-string technique, and intimate performance style.


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

3 users and 9961 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook