Book: Sounding Funny
Chapter: Spanish film music in the 1940s: Comedy, subversion, and dissident rhythms in the films of Manuel Parada
This chapter addresses a particular era of Spanish film making, that of the 1940s, through a seldom-studied genre: comedy. For the public, comedy represented an escape from the difficult socio-economic environment of postwar Spain. Despite its presumed innocuousness, the genre’s relaxed and carefree scripts can be regarded as subversive in that they that showed a way of life far removed from the reality of everyday existence. Far from the cine de cruzada, literary adaptations or historical films; comedies represented, for the majority of Spaniards, a point of access to musical modernity, not only European but also North American, through stylised jazz rhythms (which were progressively introduced into comedies during the period of the Second Republic (1931-39).