February 26, 2012
One of the things I like about San Francisco is how easy it is to make good friends. Last night, some new friends and I enjoyed an evening at the old Shattuck Theater in Berkeley. We saw the academy award nominated, animated feature Chico y Rita. The film starts in Havana in 1948, Cuba’s golden era of music, culture and commerce. The score of the film was done by Bebo Valdéz, the great Cuban piano player and the animation, by Javier Mariscal the Spanish designer and illustrator. The story follows the careers and love affair of Chico, a piano player, loosely based on Bebo and Rita, a singer with a velvety voice that brought her to stardom. The second half of the film takes place in New York detailing both musicians’ difficulties there. On a side note, Javier Mariscal is also a great lettering artist and you see a lot of it in both the Havana and the New York portion of the film. Tonight it’s up for an Oscar, and I’ll be cheering it on.