Pop musical


Pop musical
   Musical films in Spain until the early 1960s were of two kinds: either adaptations of zarzuela (the homegrown variety of European operetta) or folkloric musicals. In both cases, they fit into the Francoist ultranationalist project to cultivate songs and dances that had Spanish roots. In a way, the pop musical can be seen as an offshoot of the desarrollismo comedy, an attempt to deal with foreign popular culture influences. The genre dominated the 1960s in a series of comedies starring some of the stage stars of the period: Raphael, Karina, Rocío Dúrcal, Julio Iglesias, El dúo dinámico, Los Brincos, and Pili y Mili, among others.
   The stars and the styles were now younger, and they were set in more modern, urban backgrounds. Like the desarrollismo comedy, these films were colorful, pursuing stylized, unproblematic plots. One of the most relevant characteristics of the genre is the fact that these followed European trends. Whereas a Juanita Reina or Lola Flores vehicle was irreducibly Spanish, Raphael had a screen personality very similar, for instance, to Cliff Richards, and Rocío Dúrcal was Spain's answer to Rita Pavone. The plots also reflected those of European pop musicals. Stars tended to play characters very close to their artistic selves. In La vida sigue igual (Life Remains the Same, Eugenio Martín, 1969), Julio Iglesias plays a character named Julio Iglesias. Plots tend to revolve around a star being discovered and launched: En un mundo nuevo (In a New World, Fernando García de la Vega and Ramón Torrado, 1972), for instance, was a reworking of The Sound of Music (Robert Wise, 1965) starring Karina. In this case, the protagonist, a budding singer, arrives at the mansion of a producer to work as a nanny and ends up participating in that year's Eurovision song contest.
   Iván Zulueta's Un, dos, tres . . . al escondite inglés (One, Two, Three ... Gotcha! 1970), produced by José Luis Borau, is a refreshing parody of the genre, which also works as a tribute to the look and sounds of the 1960s.

Historical dictionary of Spanish cinema. . 2010.

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