Superb flamenco soundtrack in an extraordinary sequence of Carlos Sura’s Llanto por un bandido/ La charge des rebelles, with Francisco Rabal and Lea Massari. Carolo Rustichelli designed the score; the songs, flamenco and traditional folklore, were adapted by Pedro del Valle, sung by Rafael Romero and Luisa Romera; on guitar and speaking to the times in the billing ,Pedro del Valle (hijo/son)
In his autobiography, Si yo te contara, Paco Rabal (Madrid, El Pais/ Aguilar, p. 257) Rabal recounts, how Saura’s brother, Antonio, one of the most distinguished late20th-century painters in Spain, helped dress the sets, something that may account for the traces of a history of Spanish painting the film everywhere evident in the film.
Jose de Ribera’s ‘Boy with a Flower-pot, top left; Velazquez’s portrait of Sebastian de Morro; Goya’s etching of Velazquez painting, top left. On the bottom an image from Saura in Llanto para un bandido; on the left de Ribera’s El patizambo. It’s clear the extent to which the images in the film — stark, elegant, striving for a realism that highlights character and conditions — are indebted to Spanish painting, particular Goya and Jose de Ribera. The image from the film below, for example, conveys the chiaroscuro lighting of the era, the relative simplicity and starkness, the evocation of a way of life through details of food and clothing; the demonstration of of ordinary, daily tasks, and of course the central focus on working people:
In his biography and autobiography, both wonderful, we’re told how the film was a multi-lingual co-production and how Ventura, Massari and Rabal would speak to each other in Italian on the set. I’ve written more extensively on dubbing Rabal in another post, but as if working in various languages and dubbing different actors for different markets wasn’t distancing enough, Rabal speaks of how the film itself aimed for a Brechtian distanciation.
Various posters, under various titles, for a film that ended up a flop.