Mining Mexican cinema for its music: How songs and scores lend power to the picture – Los Angeles Times

Every April, thousands of Mexicans flock to the grave of Pedro Infante. They bring flowers and tequila and sing songs made famous by the charismatic singer and film star who died in 1957. Many spend the night.

“He’s almost like a saint,” said Daniela Michel, director of the Morelia Film Festival in Mexico. “A lot of people in rural areas have pictures of Pedro Infante in their houses. That tells you a lot about the power of this man — the power of music.”

The Los Angeles Philharmonic celebrated the power of Mexico’s film history and its music Friday night with “Noche de Cine,” conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. It was a tour of the nation’s most important and emblematic movie songs and scores, beginning in the silent era and running through recent films by Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro G. Iñárritu.

Iñárritu curated the program with Michel. They’ve known each other for two decades, since Michel launched a festival for Mexican short films and the director, then in advertising, was a sponsor.

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