Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Mercedes Sosa!

Shame on me earlier for saying I hadn't seen anything worth blogging about recently.

Of course I saw someone great in concert, and that person was the legendary Mercedes Sosa!
Despite her old age and past health problems, even though she had a folder with the lyrics in front of her and spent the whole show sat on a chair (except right at the end, for a tremendous Luna Llena and Maria Maria) she gave a great concert.

She is a true legend of Latin American music and it was such an awesome experience to be at one of her concerts, surrounded with Argentinian, Brazilians, Cubans etc, all totally in awe of her. She is their sister, mother, best friend, she and her music mean so much to them, it was magical to feel it.

Al Jardin de la Republica, Alfonsina y el mar, Zamba para no morir, Piedra y Camino (great version with a young harmonica player) and of course Gracias a la vida - she sang them all!

Also, I never thought I would see her live, what with her age etc but it has happened. A dream came true that night!

To La Negra, with much much love.

Chus Lampreave!

I love the Spanish actress Chus Lampreave, who appears in many of Pedro Almodovar's movies.

The only movie I've seen with her, by another director, is El Verdugo by Berlanga, and she is in there 2 minutes.

Pedro Almodovar gives her a well-deserved hommage on his blog. When I went to the Almodovar Q&A at the BFI for the release of volver, I wanted to ask him about Chus, but I wasn't picked. His recent post asnwers my question!

"Chus Lampreave is something more than a regular in my films. She’s an adorable person who still has a child’s innocence and capacity for surprise, even though her life hasn’t exactly been a bed of roses. She is the closest thing to the idea of an angel. A person who is naturally good. When someone like her crosses your path the best thing is to hold on to her and not let her get away for a long time. I always have a meeting pending with her, to talk, to feel her marvellous optimism and her enthusiasm at the mere fact of seeing each other and telling each other things (...)
When I offered her the role of Mother Street Rat in “Dark Habits”, her only objection was that she thought it too long, too important, and she should only do little, unimportant roles. Exactly the opposite of what any actress would tell you. Chus belongs to an atypical, wonderful race of actors who gesticulate very little. Or who don’t gesticulate at all, but their faces only reflect truth. I’m talking about geniuses like Buster Keaton, Totò, Bill Murray, Pepe Isbert, Robert Mitchum… Fortunately I managed to persuade her to play the role of the secret writer-nun in “Dark Habits”. Since then she is one of the most important emotional references in my life."

One of her best bits is obviously in The Flower of my secret. Almodovar talks about how they rehearsed it on his blog. Read it!