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An Error Ocurred

Alonso Gil
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Starting with a tracking shot of one of the most degraded neighbourhoods of Sevilla - Las tres mil viviendas -, this video introduces us to a group of ‘maginalised’ individuals who use their ‘art’, their musical abilities and conversational skills, to earn a living in one of the most touristic areas of Sevilla. An error occurred, recorded with passion (con pasión) but without compassion (compasión), shows us the performances of a number of street musicians who give away their ‘specialties’ to whomever would like to (rather than listen to them) make them stop, in exchange for some small change.

La Puerta de la Carne (The meat gate), so called because it was the gate that connected the Jewish quarter with the San Bernardo quarter and the slaughterhouse when Sevilla was a fortified city, used to be the meeting point for scoundrels, tricksters and beggars. In the time between the era that Cervantes described in his La ilustre fregona, and today, the neighbourhood has changed ostensibly. Particularly in the last few years, a redeveloping fever and an atrocious tourism have diluted the identity of a quarter that is today full of catering establishments and suchlike. This is a neighbourhood that is geared towards tourism, and dotes on it. Tourists sit down on its terrace cafés and recharge their batteries, after having paid the compulsory visit to the Santa Cruz neighbourhood. On the trail of the tourists appear a new breed of tricksters, ready to make a bit of money: Mr. ‘cardboard extraordinaire’, who plays a piece of crumpled cardboard as if it was a guitar; or ‘Joaquín the tinman’, a percussionist who for years has been singing and playing a tin can with incomparable skill, and who, at the end of his performance, threateningly shouts “...you either give me something, or I carry on singing...”. The frontal framing of the camera does not allow us the oblique look with which we usually relate to these intruder artists, rather, it is them who project their energy towards the camera by approaching it directly.

This video is a clear example of the recreational as well as thoughtful character with which Gil approaches his work. It is a considerably special piece, not only due to its artistic quality, but also to its inherent value as an anthropological and sociological document.

Technical datasheet

  • Title: An Error Ocurred
  • Direction: Alonso Gil
  • Production: Alonso Gil. 2001.
  • Duration: 00:10:50
  • Languages: English - Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Original format: DVD
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: PAL
  • License: Copyright