Andalusia and the music

Throughout the years, music has played a very important role in the history of Andalusia. Since the Ancient Age, when women from Cadiz used to sing and dance accompanied by small percussion instruments (concussion idiophones) in the Roman festivals, to these days, with Andalusian artists such as Malú, Manuel Carrasco or India Martínez who have been particularly successful, music has been evolving and acquiring a leading role in its own right in the popular festivals. And so it has been reflected in the Andalusian cinema: a marriage of scenarios, stories, and songs that are enjoyed almost as much with the eyes as with the ear while recognizing on the big screen those places where, among others, Camarón, María Callas or John Lennon have been.

Jalisco canta en Sevilla (1949)
Bread, love and Andalusia (1958)
Callas Forever (2002)
Camarón (2005)
Zindagui Na Milegi Dobara (2011)
Living is easy with eyes close (2013)

Words said by...

“It was very special to shoot in Almería with ‘Living Is Easy with Eyes Closed’. The landscapes of Cabo de Gata, the beach … I have always spent the summers there since I was a child, and to suddenly have a shoot at those same places and then seeing it on the screen was an experience that I loved. Undoubtedly, one of the most beautiful movie sets there is the Cabo de Gata.”

Natalia de Molina

“I was close to two months in San Fernando for ‘Camarón’ because I came to learn the accent. I was so happy, I enjoyed it so much and I learned so much from life, that it was hard for me to come back.”

Óscar Jaenada

“I love Seville. They have the best flamenco I’ve ever seen.”

Jeremy Irons

“Honestly, I do not think I’ve ever enjoyed shooting outdoors as much as I’ve enjoyed it with this movie.”

Hrithik Roshan

Movie Locations
Maestranza Bullring, Sevilla

The bullring of La Maestranza is situated in Arenal, a quarter in Sevilla. It was built in the XVIIIth century. The architectonic style of the bullring is late-Baroque,...

Plaza de España, Sevilla

Designated in 2017 as Treasure of European Film Culture by the European Film Academy, for serving as the filming locations for pictures such as ‘Star Wars. Episode II: Attack of...

Plaza de la Colegiata, Osuna, Sevilla

The Nuestra Señora de la Asunción collegiate is a Catholic temple in the town of Osuna (province of Seville), Spain. Construction began around 1531 and it is an outstanding...

Capuchinos Square: Christ of the Lanterns, Córdoba

It was made by the sculptor Juan Navarro León in 1794. It is located in the Capuchinos Square, one of the most beautiful places in Córdoba, which connects two of the most...

Carmen Street, San Fernando, Cádiz

The street that witnessed the birth of Camarón de la Isla, owes its name to the Virgen del Carmen, patron saint of San Fernando (and of the Navy), who has a dedicated niche in...

Camposoto Beach, Chiclana de la Frontera, Cádiz

It is a virgin beach that goes from Chiclana de la Frontera to Cádiz, being part of the Bahía de Cádiz Natural Park. Traditionally it was intended for military use (in fact two...

Zuazo Bridge, San Fernando, Cádiz

This bridge connects San Fernando with Puerto Real, crossing the Caño de Santi Petri. The first bridge dates back to the Middle Ages, although previously it was already part of...

La Casería Beach, San Fernando, Cádiz

The beach goes from the Arsenal de la Carraca to Punta Cantera. It is surrounded by small houses and serves as a shelter for the small boats that go fishing during the day. It is...

Barbate, Cádiz

This village, with 15 kilometres of coastline, is considered as one of the most important touristic sites in the South of Spain. It counts with some of the most fashionable and...

Cervantes Theater, Almería

The construction of this building goes back to the year 1886 when the architect Enrique López Rull designed it, and it was not until 1921 that it was inaugurated. Currently the...

Salt Marshes, Cabo de Gata, Almería

Considered one of the most remarkable Andalusian ecosystems, Cabo de Gata salt mines are the only ones in industrial operation in western Andalusia. They take up approximately 400...

La Isleta del Moro, Níjar, Almería

This little town practically surrounded by the sea is one of the must-see destinations in the Almería coast. The 400-metre fine-sand beach of Peñón Blanco has crystal clear...

El Playazo, Rodalquilar, Almería

This spectacular 400-metre virgin beach of golden sand with exceptional weather conditions is one of the most stunning beaches of the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Nature Reserve. Its...

Tabernas desert, Almería

Located only 19 miles away from the capital of Almería, this protected Nature Reserve with a surface of 108 square miles, is one of the most portraited landscapes in films,...

Alájar, Huelva

The town centre, declared Historical-Artistic Site in 1982, is a mixture of Arab streets and mountain houses with labyrinthine streets to wander around. We can also visit the...

New Bridge and Plaza de España, Ronda, Málaga

This bridge, one of Ronda’s hallmarks, was completed in 1793. It crosses a 100-meter-long gorge, naturally excavated by the Guadalevín River. It is one of the main...

Grazalema, Cádiz

This beautiful town is located in the reserve of the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, and takes its name from it. It is part of the White Towns route and is also famous for...

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The ‘Callas forever’ team spent a total of six months in Andalusia, from scouting locations to shooting. The team comprised 100 people and 500 local extras were also hired for three days of filming. The economic impact on Andalusia totalled more than 300,000 euros, including hotels, restaurants, catering, film set construction, equipment rental as well as cleaning and security personnel.
The gypsy camp scene in ‘Callas forever’ was going to be filmed in Guadix (Granada), but the director, Franco Zefirelli, apparently decided to continue filming in Osuna (Seville) and finally decided to film the scene by a group of prickly pears that, according to the locals, are as old as the Collegiate itself.
The director of ‘Callas forever’, Franco Zefirelli, stayed at Hotel Palacio Marqués de la Gomera, located in Calle San Pedro, where some scenes were filmed. He only had to look out from the large Baroque balcony of his room to check that the team was working on the set and preparing the next sequence to be filmed.
In Setenil de las Bodegas the Indian film director Zoya Akhtar discovered, by chance, a picturesque bar. She liked it so much that, although it was not included in the planning, she decided to shoot a scene of confidences among the three protagonists of 'You will not get this life again' the next day.
The main scene of the film "You will not get this life again" (Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara), a multitudinous dance, was recorded in Alájar (Huelva). In it the main song of the film, "Señorita", is sung and danced, performed by the singer María del Mar Fernández, who, although she did not participate in the filming, became a revelation in India, where the song reached an unprecedented success. The dance also received a prize for the best choreography in the Filmfare gala, which is considered the Oscars of India.
'Bread, Love and Andalusia' is part of a series of films starring Vittorio De Sica and world-class actresses such as Gina Lollobrigida or Sophia Loren. As the shooting was in Andalusia, the heroine of the last film needed to be Spanish. Carmen Sevilla, already a star at that time, was the lucky one.
Before the filming of 'Camarón', the actor who embodied him, Óscar Jaenada, knew nothing about the "cantaor". However, he grew his hair and steeped in Camarón knowledge, to the point that he walked, talked and smoked like him. In fact, many people in San Fernando used to call him José, the singer's first name.
The movie 'Living is easy with eyes closed' is based on a true story. In the sixties, Juan Carrión, a high school teacher who used the lyrics of the Beatles songs to teach English, met John Lennon, who was filming "How I Won the War" in Almeria, and asked him to include the lyrics of their songs on the covers of their albums. And although Trueba did not want to meet Juan while writing the script to avoid being conditioned, as soon as it was written and the movie started, he sought him out. Carrión, who died a few years after the premiere, "enjoyed the success of the film very much," according to Trueba. In fact, at the 2014 Goya Awards, the director was accompanied by the teacher, who was able to enjoy how his story received the Goya Award for Best Film
'Camarón' was filmed in San Fernando, the singer's hometown. Many neighbours of the city were present at the filming. Such was their presence that, as Jaime Chávarri said in an interview, "the people of San Fernando have opened their hearts to us." There have been times when someone has approached me and told me, with great respect, that Camarón would not say some things like that because it sounded very 'payo' (non-gypsy), and we changed it."
The scene of Carmen's death in 'Callas Forever' was filmed in Córdoba, specifically in the 'Christ of the Lanterns'. Two of the members of the choir pretended in their workplace a stomach upset to participate in the shooting. The next day, they were in a front-page photograph under the title of "Actresses from Cordoba for a universal film."
David Trueba said that although the wind from Cabo de Gata sometimes made it difficult to shoot 'Living is easy with eyes closed', he tried to see the positive side and took advantage of it for the film. Javier Cámara remembers some beautiful shots of Natalia de Molina, with her mane in the wind.