Review: The Blue Star
by Júlia Olmo
- Spanish director Javier Macipe presents a moving debut film based on the story of musician Mauricio Aznar
1990s. Mauricio, a Spanish rock artist who is down on his luck tours Latin America trying to shake off his ghosts - drug addiction and a broken relationship - and rediscover his vocation. There, he meet Don Carlos, a popular musician from Santiago who he admires and who generously takes him under his wing. Together they form a unique, quixotic duo. This is the story of The Blue Star [+see also:
interview: Javier Macipe
film profile], the début film by Javier Macipe, starring Pepe Lorente (alongside Cuti Carabajal, Bruna Cusí, Marc Rodríguez and Catalina Sopelana), and presented in the New Directors section of the 71st San Sebastian Festival.
The Blue Star is based on the true story of Mauricio Aznar, a poet and musician from Zaragoza, leader of the bands Golden Zippers, Más Birras and Almagato. The film focuses on his life in the 1990s when, in the midst of a deep personal crisis, a trip to Latin America opened the doors to another way of seeing music and life, and which would bring about the end of Más Birras, the band with whom he composed Apuesta por el Rock and Roll, one of his most popular songs that would later be covered by Héroes del Silencio. However this film by Macipe is not a biopic. It is a work of fiction that pays homage to a forgotten figure in Spanish music.
Simple, unpretentious and without great artifices, using resources that are also close to the documentary style, and the people, sounds, images, and places that made up his life, with a believable and magnificent performance by Lorente, the film recreates a period of the singer’s life, looking at the sadness that tormented him as well as happier times, and the things that made him believe that life was worth living (if only for a while). Using this documentary/fiction style, the film reflects the soul of a certain place, at a certain time, and the idiosyncrasies of the people and their way of life, in a natural and moving way. The film is full of these images that try to vividly tell the character’s story, how he fell in love with the places he visited, their Latin culture and their way of understanding the world, what that discovery meant for him, the return to his hometown and his fight for who he wanted to be. Some of the most notable aspects of the film are those sequences that manage to reflect the truth and move the audience.
Another strong point is that through that story, it tells a more general tale about the cost of following one's dreams. Through this personal story, the film looks at the meaning of identity, the pain we suffer and that we carry throughout our lives; at helplessness, solitude, the importance of memory, of friendship and its connection to admiration, of music as a refuge and travelling companion, and of the search for those people who make us feel alive. The soundtrack of the film helps to convey that all that beauty and pain.
The Blue Star is just what it claims to be, a small, honest film, at times moving and beautiful; a journey through the life of a character who could have been famous but chose not to be, and beyond that, a film about how we become the people we are.
(Translated from Spanish by Alexandra Stephens)
Photogallery 24/09/2023: San Sebastián 2023 - The Blue Star
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