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El Rey de Todo El Mundo (The King of All the World)

1hr 35mins
Directed by
Carlos Saura
Manuel García Rulfo,
Ana de la Reguera,
Greta Elizondo
Film Language
in Spanish with English subtitles

Presented as part of the 2022 edition Cinefest Latino Boston!

In this new film by acclaimed Spanish auteur Carlos Saura (Cria Cuervos, Carmen, Tango, Goya in Bordeaux), Manuel is preparing his next show, a musical about making a musical show. He seeks the help of Sara—his ex-wife and a renowned choreographer—to direct. In the casting, the young Ines will appear as a rising star while dealing with her father and local mob. During the rehearsals, the passion and tension will grow among the dancers. Powerful Mexican music sets the tone and a play will emerge in which tragedy, fiction and reality intertwine.

Director’s Statement — Carlos Saura

I have been listening to Mexican music since I was a child and it has had a great impact on me and my love for this country’s popular music. It was the time when Jorge Negrete, Vargas, Los Panchos, Cantinflas and Indio Fernández were stars in our country. Later on, I had the opportunity to go to Mexico several times.

The first time was during the Acapulco Festival with La Caza (The Hunt), which received an award. Then, I made a movie in Mexico: Antonieta, based on Carriere’s screenplay which starred Mexican and French actors, Isabelle Adjani and Hanna Sygula.

Back then I thoroughly investigated Mexican popular music: corridos, rancheras, boleros, danzones and some others. There is enough source material in Mexico to make a fascinating fiction musical movie. It is just about having a modern and not only a historical view. It means, a state- of-the-art approach, for instance, not using clothes from folklore, but modern ones for mariachis and some of the dances. Reinventing corridos could be part of a story where love, passion and revenge mix with reality and fiction, with fresh new voices and paying tribute to these relevant representatives of Mexican music, without having the need to rewrite the history of the country. I have always upheld the idea that imagination is one of the tools of movie making. That is why I insist on progressing further with this line of scenography, looking for a renovation, avoiding common traditional solutions, using the different possibilities that new technologies offer us: light, high quality digital cameras, powerful low consumption projectors, the possibility of recording sound live with tiny microphones...

The idea of making the musical The King of All the World in a suitable studio, in order to have control over the fictional story being narrated, the dances and the songs, together with filming in the apartments, cafes, underground, squares and other public places in Mexico City is not whimsical. It is mainly about integrating two worlds, reality and fiction, in a visual game in which you can easily get in and out of. 

presented by

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