Title: Interview with Yves Montand, actor and singer
Duration: 6 min., 26 seg.
Sound collection: Radio Paris. Ramírez/del Campo
Julián Antonio Ramírez interviews the famous actor and singer Yves Montand in his dressing room, in the 'Thêatre de L'Etoile'. It was a moment in the life of the artist in which he made an aside in his career of actor, after spending four years in Hollywood filming as the leading role 'El multimillonario' (Let's make love), 'Réquiem por una mujer' (Sanctuary) and 'Mi dulce geisha' (My Geisha). Disappointed with the only relative success obtained with these three films, he had gone back for a limited period of time to his origins of singer and actor of music hall.
Basically, the interview is about his life and his work. The artist revealed that the criterion to choose his songs was "to reflect the everyday man", with his lights and his shadows. It commented as well that he had already travelled and worked through the whole world and that, in fact, he had just returned from singing in an act organised by John F. Kennedy in the capital of the U.S.
Obviously, the election of Yves Montand as the interviewed was not only for a reason of fame: there was an important political background. From his humble origins (he was a son of an Italian working family and refugee in France escaping of the fascism), and especially, from his artistic beginnings, Yves Montand had been a true "travel companion" of the French Communist Party, and even travelled to the USSR in 1956 to interview with Kruschev when the invasion of Hungary.
On one hand, between his repertoire at first songs there was an important commitment with the left wing. In fact, we must highlight some of them, such as Le temps des cerises, composed in 1869 by Jean-Baptiste Clement and Antoine Renard, and adopted as an anthem by the Paris Commune; also Le Chant de la Liberation, and especially the famous Le Chant des Partisans, that the own Julián Antonio Ramírez evokes in his memoirs (Ici Paris, 265). Nevertheless, it is true that as time went by he would became a detractor of the stalinism, and he would gradually approach to the French Socialist Party and to the figure of Michel Rocard, as he same would point out at the end of the 70's.
On the other hand, and although he does not explicitly say it, there is a veiled criticism to the francoist diet in the recording, when the artist comments that he is fond of Spain and the Spanish people, and that he has indeed desires of visiting Spain, but that for the moment he does not plan to go... in spite of having good Spanish friends, Pablo Picasso among them, and many other “not so famous” that, although he does not quote, could also be in the exile.
University of Alicante. University Library. Fonoteca