Estrella Morente becomes a ‘toon’
in Fernando Trueba’s film ‘Chico y Rita’
The flamenco cantaora performs the bolero ‘Lily’
together with pianist Bebo Valdés
S.C./ Flamenco-world.com, February 2011
Morente is a cartoon character. The flamenco cantaora
plays herself in ‘Chico & Rita’, an animated
film by director Fernando Trueba and designer Javier Mariscal.
In the movie, which tells of a love story between latin
jazz musicians, the Granada-born artist performs the bolero
‘Lily’, the film’s main song, with the
legendary Bebo Valdés on piano.
Fernando Trueba and Estrella
Morente (Photo Yago Mariño)
‘Chico & Rita’ is a love
story between latin jazz musicians, a pianist and a singer,
set in the middle of the 20th century between Havana and
New York. At the end of the film, which is the fruit of
the collaboration between filmmaker Fernando Trueba and
designer Javier Mariscal, Chico’s career gets a new
boost when cantaora Estrella Morente arrives in Havana in
search of a genuine talent for a musical collaboration.
Trueba managed to convince her to take
part in the movie: “I’ve always loved Estrella
since she was really young. When we started writing this
scene, I thought of her because she has a special quality.
She has one foot in the 19th century and the other in the
21st century; she doesn’t belong to the 20th century.
She’s so deep and ancient and, at the same time, so
modern. It was a luxury to have her in the film”.
And she sings with a real piano legend: “The experience
of bringing together Bebo Valdés and Estrella Morente
is a gift and something quite unusual and nice”, the
Estrella and Chico's success
on 'Chico & Rita'
Estrella and Bebo – who together
with Diego el Cigala created one of the most international
flamenco albums, ‘Lágrimas
negras’, produced by Trueba – are part of
a complete lineup of musicians including Idania Valdés,
Freddy Cole, Jimmy Heath, Pedrito Martínez, Michael
Phillip Mossman, Amadito Valdés and Germán
Velazco, playing jazz stars of the era recreated in the
film such as Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Ben Webster,
Nat King Cole, Tito Puente and Dizzie Gillespie.
It isn’t the first time that Estrella
Morente has worked in a movie. So far, she has intervened
in films like ‘Buñuel y la mesa del Rey Salomón’,
‘Iberia’ and ‘Flamenco,
flamenco’ by Carlos Saura, and in ‘Volver’
by Pedro Almodóvar’. Moreover, in 2007 she
released an audiovisual of her own, the musical documentary
Frames from 'Chico & Rita'
Over the world
The film is traveling all over the world.
In March, ‘Chico & Rita’ will be presented
at the Cartoon Movie Festival in Lyon (France) and at the
28th Miami International Film Festival. It has already won
the Prize for Best Film at the Holland Animation Film Festival
(HAFF 2010), the 2010 European Cinema Prize at the Les Arcs
European Film Festival and the 2011 Goya for Best Animated
Film, besides being the film to open the Telluride Film
'Chico & Rita' team (Photo