The Jaunty Tone of Vicky Cristina Barcelona

The jaunty tone of Vicky Cristina Barcelona is set by Giulia y Los Tellarini's catchy song "Barcelona," which plays often in the film. The tune found its way to Allen serendipitously. "People send me music all the time, but I rarely get a chance to listen to anything. One morning, as I was running out to go to the set, I grabbed it without even opening it and listened to it in the car on the way to the location. And I said, 'Hey, this is great! This is exactly what I want for the movie!' And it worked out well for everyone. They were grateful we were using their music, and my producer was happy that we weren't using something that would cost a lot of money like a George Gershwin song!"

All the shooting took place in Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia and Spain's second largest city, on the Spanish east coast of the Mediterranean, as well as in Oviedo and Avilés, two cities in the Principality of Asturius on the north coast (approximately 400 miles away). The Barcelona locations are a virtual postcard of the city, notably the fantastically intricate architecture of Antoni Gaudí, including his famous Sagrada Familía, Parc Güell, and La Pedrera. One particularly memorable moment in the film is when Javier Bardem and Rebecca Hall play out an entire scene from opposite sides of a mosaic lizard fountain in the Parc Güell. "We had to tamp down the amount of water flowing out of the lizard's mouth," says Allen. "You couldn't hear the dialogue!"

Other notable Barcelona sites include the Tibidabo Amusement Park, Hospital de Saint Pau, Fundació Joan Míro (The Míro Museum), Museu Nacional d'Art Catalunya, Port Olímpic, the Barcelona Airport (with its Míro wall mural), and La Rambla. "Barcelona has all the elements of a great European city in terms of beautiful architecture, but there's also something underneath the surface that is quite anarchic," says Hall. "The moment I got there I was staying up much later and going out and partying much more than I ever do anywhere else (on weekends, not work days, let it be known!). It's got a really strong spirit as a city and the people there are very proud of it-they like to define themselves as outside of Spain. It stands on its own with its unique culture and identity."

Gaudí's fervid architecture is a constant touchstone for the movie. His life's work, the spellbinding Sagrada Familía church, is one of the most celebrated unfinished works in art, and as such, is a supremely romantic building. It echoes Maria Elena's belief that only unfulfilled love is truly romantic.

"Denis de Rougemont wrote that once love is fulfilled, it's never romantic again," says Allen. "I think it can then have other qualities that lead one to a wonderful life, but it never has that romance." "I think there are many different kinds of 'romantic,'" says Johansson. "There's a romance that's very seductive and part of the kind of mating game, and then there's a deep romance of people who have been together for thirty years and still surprise one another, and are still learning about each other. I think that's terribly romantic."

"I think the film shows many kinds of love," says Johansson, "whether it's Maria Elena and Juan Antonio having this interminable, impossible sort of love or whether it's the love that Cristina has for Maria Elena and Juan Antonio, a sort of infatuation and an artistic expression of love. And Vicky's feelings for Juan Antonio are a very obsessive, fanatical kind of love. I think the film shows that all kinds of love are valid." "I think there are different aspects of love," says Bardem. "Love is as different as the people who feel it. I'd say I guess the movie wants to show some of those relationships with love in different people, different minds."

Allen thinks that VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA may say things about love that even he isn't aware of. "I have no profound things to say about love but by creating live characters, and having them interact, inferences can be made by people" he says. He continues, "there are probably things in the final film that are in spite of what I hoped to say-they may even contradict what I had on my mind, which is not that deep. On the other hand, I did have some points to make. Some things work for some people in some situations. One can't preconceive these things and one has to be more flexible when it comes to love."

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