Menese

Director Remedios Malvárez, José Romero Portillo
Spain / 80 min. / 2019 / español


This complete and close-up portrait of singer José Menese – orthodox in singing and revolutionary in word and deed – dramatically reveals his complex personality and artistic symbiosis with the poet Francisco Moreno Galván.

 

They often called him “the last orthodox”. And it suited him just fine. They also called him “red”. And he clutched onto his Communist Party membership card, even when the Civil Guard dragged him off stage, machine gun in hand. As this solid and poetic documentary demonstrates, the singer from La Puebla de Cazalla (Seville) José Menese was a firmly traditionalist soleá and seguiriyas artist, and deeply revolutionary in his message. The footage is divided between old interviews and concerts for television, the current testimony of his widow and two of his children, and genuine flamenco shindigs at his beloved Bar Central in La Puebla. The same tavern in which the poet Francisco Moreno Galván saw in him, the voice with which he could express his vision of flamenco. The "painter" Patricio Hidalgo describes his artistic career and their father-son relationship in pictorial terms: Menese brought the pure, almost abstract stroke of his voice; Moreno Galván contributed the figurative, the word, the covers. At a table at Central, singers like Calixto Sánchez or Manuel Gerena and fans who are a well of Flamenco wisdom, evoke Menese’s art: freedom, purity, justice, socially committed poetry, fraternity with workers and day labourers, and a love for Andalusia that is far from clichéd. The documentary also features pictorial animations of his beaten songs as well as deliberate performances in which singers like Rosario "La Tremendita", Rocío Márquez and Laura Vital put their own spin on classics from Menese’s repertoire. The biographical review includes milestones such as his performance at the Olympia theatre in Paris or at the UN headquarters, but more importantly, the personal portrait doesn’t dodge controversial aspects: Menese could be intense, immature and irate, brave and broken. But above all, he sang and lived in the only way he could sing and feel.

 

1 NOV, 18:45H: PRESENTED BY THE DIRECTORS

Entradas BCN

Details
Subtitles
VO

Section
National Scene

Showing format

Participation
in festivals
estreno

Leadings
Jose Menese, Rocio Marquez, Raul Rodriguez, Rosario La Tremendita, Laura Vital.

Screenwriter(s)
Remedios Malvárez, José Romero Portillo

Editor(s)
Arturo Andújar

Producer
Arturo Andújar

Film company
Producciones Singulares

Film distributor

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