Chico & Rita

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 Vald├ęz, 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.