We don’t like songs… from musicals

We don’t like songs… from musicals. Or so it seems according to the nominations. It is not that it is the year with the most premiered musicals, but they are not few. Among the songs we see and hear in Love in its place, The cover, The ghost of the sauna, The passion according to Pep Amores, The king of the whole world Y Valentine, only the cover has achieved its space in this category. And it is not because the songs of musicals are better for belonging to this cinematographic genre; but they are an argument, since they belong to both the narrative and the musical script. And that is an added value.

Gervasio Sanchez. Postwar album’

burst-out (Xavier Capellas; lyrics by Angel Leiro and Jean Paul Dupeyron)

As we said, it is a cliché to find (in all the general awards) songs that, apart from their intrinsic quality, narratively contribute little to the images. In the emotional journey that is this documentary film (directed by Angel Leiro Y Airy Maragall), the song of Xavier Capellas (also author of incidental music), is supported by the voice of the guitarist Dupeyron to whisper at the beginning of the film words full of sadness and despair about the war, the homeland, the flags… A precise -and beautiful- overture that has no narrative continuity in the scarce musical presence of this human portrait of survival.

‘The Cover’

look for me inside (Antonio Orozco, Jordi Colell Pinillos).

The musical in Spain does not seduce. If the fundamental songs of Victor Reyes for one of the best movies of 2021 love instead (Rodrigo Cortes) have been ignored, at least, a little more luck has had one of the most attractive of the year, this distant cross between moulin rouge Y la la land, to cite recognizable examples. The fragments of songs follow one another to the rhythm of the dynamic montage and lively dialogues.

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International pop and rock songs, versions for all tastes -and that flow in a natural and fun way-, accompany the nominated song composed by Anthony Orozco (with cameo included). A song that we hear and see, first, in a fragment of the chorus sung on an old cassette, in the voice of the now-disappeared mother of the young and frustrated protagonist; and we see it when he writes the opening verses of the song, throughout the film, on paper napkins. The climax is its complete interpretation as an emotional and musical empowerment.

‘The laws of the border’

The laws of the border (Alejandro García Rodríguez, Antonio Molinero León, Daniel Escortell Blandino, José Manuel Cabrera Escot, Miguel García Cantera).

Daniel Monzón brings us back the forgettable quinqui cinema (with its undoubted social and historical value) in this excellent portrait of the awakening to life -and the harsh reality- of a shy lover of the dangerous side of love and friendship. The Chichos and The Chunguitos are replaced by more current Derby Motoreta’s Burrito Kachimba. These Sevillians transport us to the seventies, when Andalusian rock was in full swing (Flamenco, Tartessos, Triana, Medina Azahara or Smash, which have their space in the soundtrack). They have written the brief incidental music, full of fast electrical sounds with a psychedelic point, and the main theme, with no presence in the film except for a few seconds, as incidental music, when seeing and listening to it on a turntable. RPsychedelic ock with harmonies and flamenco-inspired melismas for this social portrait.


the sea awaits you (María José Llergo).

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An example of songs not included in the film is this beautiful song by the flamenco heterodox Maria Jose Arrigo. His voice in the sea awaits you, evokes melismatic elements of the music of Mediterranean countries, sometimes closer to flamenco, others closer to the Nearest East. In addition, the letter poeticizes the human drama that we have seen on the screen. Even so, without detracting from its quality, it does not contribute more than an emotional musical touch to the harsh human story.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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