So tonight is our premiere. Paolo Tosini, the italian who leaded the restoration project at Cineteca Nacional for the longest version ever known of El Automóvil Gris is about to show it for the first time in public; a profit of the hard work of many hands at the Elena Sánchez Valenzuela Laboratory / Cineteca Naciona México.
I was pleased to setup music for the film, and will perform it this evening. I want to share some decisions I took:
- Though it is original music, every theme comes from a musical source that sounded at Mexico City during the late 10s and 20s. I can't always stick to the style... I am sure the film needs absolutely developed film music resources I will do my best to attain :)
- It includes fragments by mexican academic composers as Ricardo Castro; indeed, I took the harmonic links at Suite Op. 18, No.1 to build up a main theme. The original fragment sounds at the film too. (People robbed on-screen seem to be pretty educated and classy .)
- Every single "tune" or classical piece appears at any or some of the materials known to me; concert programmes or newspaper ads at my previous research.
- (Little spoiler alert) Other corridos include one for Zapata (more to come!, almost every Revolution event has one right? :) )
- (Other spoiler) Just as in the orquesta típica repertoire, there are danzones, paso dobles paired with puccinian drama (lots of mexicans loved him by the time).
- Have you heard "Ojos de juventud", "Sobre las olas", and "Carmen"? Waltzes. There was a mexican critic by the time, who complained those where sounding too much at cinemas. Let us keep the annoyance 100 years after!
Bottom line: yes, there is an historical corrido coming from traditional sources... though there is not one but many sources. Two scholars found at least three different lyrics with different metrics (one comes from the northern border). An arranged transcription and some recordings are known. Though, each speaks about different facts so, I use two of these versions; the less risky (historicaly speaking). I decided to leave that for the final episode. I will tell you why later.
Bottom of the bottom: As in Tren Fantasma, mexican high speed cars, locomotives etc. use the "sesquiáltero" :p
I hope you enjoy the premiere tonight, the following two episodes at Pordenone Silent Film Festival, or please come to any of the upcoming screenings. This is a beautiful moment for the history of film restoration in Mexico.
Thank you to the people that did this possible.