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Chico & Rita: A Jazzy Love Affair

Dazed talks to Oscar-winning director Fernando Trueba and Spanish artist Javier Mariscal about Chico, the jazz pianist, and the love of his life, Rita

Oscar winning director Fernando Trueba partners up with Spanish artist Javier Mariscal to transform his free-flowing painting style into the gracefully vivacious animation Chico & Rita. A nostalgic melodrama, the film follows fictional jazz pianist Chico as he reflects back on his romance with singer Rita in their hometown Havana, Cuba. Their various emotionally fervent run-ins through the years are mirrored in the development and passion in the music they produce, as the rhythmic Cuban music marries the jazz influences from America.

The playoff between New York and Havana drives in various directions with the souls of the cities taking the form of tangible characters. The disparity and similarity between the cities is also worked in as a wry social commentary with the Utopian US with all its glitz and hope displaying the same level of racial and social injustice as Havana. Jazz legend Bebo Valdés composed an original soundtrack, which also features musical cameos from giants such as Dizzie Gillespie, Thelonious Monk and Cole Porter. Chico & Rita is a hugely uplifting and rewarding film whose colourful music and vibrant animation make its heart-rending story resonate across an entire emotional scale. Dazed Digital were luck enough to meet its director Fernando Trueba and artist Javier Mariscal.

Chico & Rita is out at cinemas this Friday