5 June 2019 | ma-cortes
Spanish/French co-production with great international cast formed by three big name actors : Mercouri , Mason and Kruger
At the beginning , a neurotic 34-year-old art critic (Hardy Krüger) , drives his sports car across the border from Paris to the small Spanish fishing village of Caldeya (actually Cadaques) in August 1964 , where he has been loaned the house of his friend and business partner , the English homosexual and art-gallery owner named Reginald (Maurice Teynac) . En route he stops to pick up Tom Dixon (José María Mompín) . At Tom's request , Vincent is taken by 11-year-old Daniel (Didier Haudepin) to collect the keys of Reginalds house from his father, Pascal Régnier (James Mason) . As the two arrive Régnier is in the process of throwing out his latest girlfriend . Regnier introduces Vincent to lesbian Jenny, (Melina Mercouri), she is owner of The Estrella bar with its jangling mechanical piano, who has already received a telegram from Reginald asking her to look after his friend . Vincent and Jenny fall in love and after they swim in the sea and sleep together . Later on , they scheme a journey to Barcelona together, a trip they take in spite of Reginald's arrival Vincent . As Jenny and Vincent are really attracted to each other and they become closer after he assists in the rescue of Jenny's friend : Nora (Keiko Kishi) , who has attempted to commit herself suicide. Jenny tries unsuccessfully to interest Vincent in Nora . Shortly after , they attend a party at the villa of millionaire Elvis Bryant , a former lover of Jenny , but a complete vacuum emerges and she shows Vincent around the art collection A. long the way they are really criticized by a group of children . While a charming romance crops up between two teens : Sergio (Renaud Verley) and Nadine , but it ends in fateful consequences . .. The hidden places...where everybody runs from life...and from morality!...the woman who is not quite inexperienced...the man who is not quite a man...the man who is not innocent .
Passable but boring melodrama develops a peculiar romance , plenty of sadness and melancholy , between a gay art critic and an independient as well as liberal woman . Los pianos mecánicos (aka Les pianos mécaniques in the slightly longer French language version) is loosely based on the 1962 novel Les pianos mécaniques (literally meaning player-pianos, which are heard playing in various bars during the film) by Henri-François Rey (1919-87). Based on on the novel "Les pianos mécaniques") play , being well adapted by the novelist himself and filmmaker , Juan Antonio Bardem . After the flop ¨Nunca pasa nada¨, considered to be one of the best films , Bardem met the French producer Raymond Borderie who hired him to take charge the novel written by Henry Francois Rey . It resulted in a dull and slow-paced Spanish/French co-production formed by two companies : Precitel Paris and Cesareo Gonzalez Productions , but in Spain got a big success due to its daring theme and some brief erotic scenes , in spite of numerous cuts carried out by the Francoist censorship . Fine performances from Melina Mercouri as a Bohemian bourgeoisie lady , a lonely woman who falls in love with a strange homosexual well played by Hardy Kruger . James Mason plays a novelist mainly occupied in the pursuit of girlsand drinking whisky, who spends his summers in Caldeya with his son : the prodige child Didier Haupedin , to whom he is devoted . The movie displays a Spanish secondary star-studded , such as : Jose Maria Mompin , Rafael Luis Calvo , Luis Induni , María Albaicín and international actors as Renaud Verley , Maurice Teynac , Karin Mossberg , and the little boy , Didier Haudepin . This is a 'rara avis' film of the 60s because dealing with a particular portrait of Bohemian people in the Spanish society of the sixties , it didn't please the pro-Franco authorities and was strongly censored . Bardem's conceptual and political audacity as well as the social criticism result to be so evident in this film who he had to fight the censorship which didn't admit the some engaging scenes and obligated to make some changes . It contains atmospheric and glimmering cinematography by Gábor Pogány and adequate musical score by Georges Delerue . Being shot on location in Barcelona, Catalonia, and Cadaqués, Girona, Catalonia, Spain .
The motion picture was regular and slowly directed by Juan Antonio Bardem , being presented in Cannes Festival . Bardem was a good filmmaker and older brother of Pilar Bardem and son of notorious actors as Rafael Bardem and Matilde Muñoz Sampedro . Furthermore , he is uncle of Oscarized Javier Bardem , Carlos Bardem , Mónica Bardem and father of Miguel Bardem . Bardem was an outspoken critic of the Franco regime, his political views prevented him from gaining a diploma from the Spanish cinema institute in 1947 . Thereafter, he worked as a critic and finally broke into films as writer/director of the much acclaimed ¨Death of a cyclist¨ or Muerte De un Ciclista (1955) , which won the 1956 Cannes International Critics Award . Other classic films he wrote or directed are the following ones : ¨Bienvenido Mr. Marshall¨ (co-directed by Luis Garcia Berlanga) , ¨Esa Pareja Feliz¨, ¨Comicos¨ , ¨Sonatas¨, ¨La Venganza¨, ¨Nuca pasa nada¨, ¨Varietes¨, ¨7 días de Enero¨ , El puente¨, and the prestigious series : Garcia Lorca , muerte de un poeta , among others . His big hit was ¨Calle Mayor¨ , it was voted ninth best Spanish film by professionals and critics in 1996 Spanish cinema centenary and being prized in Festival Of Venice and this one is deservedly considered one of the best movies of the Spanish cinema . During the start of filming , student protests in Madrid, led to the arrest of director Juan Antonio Bardem, a communist, in the city of Palencia and carried out by the Brigada Politica Social . He was jailed for a few days and released on the condition that he could not talk about his personal life or beliefs during interviews related to the film . After Bardem's jailing and release, he decided to stop early filming in Palencia, and shot the remaining of the movie in other cities . ¨Los pianos mecanicos¨ rating : 5.5/10 , average , but it is essential and indispensable seeing for Spanish cinema fans .