Mr. Cervantes’ little merry-go-round
To get on Pablo Cervantes’ little merry-go-round means, among many other things, a return to our childhood; to that magical, hidden place where dreams come true. Mr. Cervantes’ little merry-go-round spins and spins, and doesn’t stop spinning, bobbed by the soft breeze of the memories its dreamy melodies recall; art and craft of a maker swelled with details. To step on this amusement ride, penny in hand, means to enter into a reality-its music is minimal and delicate-that drives us inevitably towards a daydream, the daydream that director José Luis Garci, untamed filmmaker, seasoned in a thousand and one battles against clapperboards, takes and editing, offers us through the work of one of Spain’s most interesting composers nowadays. Maybe this duo Garci/Cervantes is not as well-known as others, nor so admired by the Seventh’s Art music fans; nor so sought after by dream collectors…this is the sad reality in this festive, Easter processions loving, bullfighting going country. But between these two there is no place for doubt, not even the possibility of a doubt, a state which would break their true vocations. With a strong lineage, genius, bravery and an illustrious surname, Pablo Cervantes composes an exquisite tableau, illustrating the interesting filmography of the director who, with nothing but the clothes he was wearing, conquered America, forbidden land for the regular little Spaniard until then, who fell in love with Volver a empezar (1982) a few decades ago. Garci and Cervantes walk together through a small part of our history, of our extraordinary native Cinema, which has in this newly released recording a juicy feast for the senses.
The selection of works contained in this compilation maps the places where both filmmakers move, offering an interesting display of Pablo Cervantes’ cinematographic work. The refined and monochromatic You’re the one (2000), maximal expression of audiovisual sensitivity (the quartet version is delightful); the romantic and delicate History of a kiss (2002), where the 88 keys of the piano capture, in musical pictured cards, the main character’s glances; the dynamic, stirring Tiovivo C. 1950 (2004), a costumbrist representation of this Spain of ours, so close, unveiled by Pablo through the melodramatic stroke of his suggestive melodies. So genuine (castiza, from Madrid) a proposal, that even the instruments used by the musician seem to belong to us only. Ninette (2005), Blood of May (2008), the most symphonic score of all; and Holmes & Watson, Madrid Days (2012), his last collaboration to date with José Luis Garci, complete the first part of this recording project, which also includes Hotel Danubio (2003), a film written and directed by Antonio Giménez Rico, where the Sevillian composer’s mystifying, disturbing proposal illustrates faithfully this story set in the Galicia of the 50’s. Small and subtle pieces of work as interesting as necessary, which now see the light thanks to the Quixote-like determination of record label Rossetta…hats off for the initiative!
To savor Pablo Cervantes’ film work is like getting on that old merry-go-round, spinning and spinning endlessly. It is, like our grandparents used to say: to get on it not to stop from dreaming. Perhaps (doubt is always there) it will be Time itself, equally hated and beloved, who will prize this extraordinary melody maker’s contribution, someone who, if possible, has made my admired José Luis Garci’s films even greater.
Antonio Pardo Larrosa
Jewell box, 8 color pages booklet