Costus, the documentary, directed by Mexican Ernesto de Chicote is not just another documentary about La Movida Madrileña, but rather one focused on what might be considered the origin of the movement.
Back in the post-Franco times, when Spain became part of Europe and began to believe that welfare could exist, after so many years of “black and white”, came the need by some to invade society with colour, to experience something completely unknown: freedom. This is what several voices in the documentary say about the era, such as musician Joe Borzani, painter Guillermo Pérez Villalta, musician Fernando Márquez, the gallery owner Txomín Salazar, and, of course, the singer Alaska.
In Madrid, the intermingling of creativity and good times caused a scandal. This scandal started getting called “La Movida”. The term, as the music critic Jesus Ordovás says, was used in the rock world to say that something was happening, for example, a concert or a get together. It started getting used in the mainstream press, and when the writer Francisco Umbral in the El País daily wrote, “A movida (moving) is happening in Madrid and Alaska and Ramoncín are going to be there” the term became widespread.
Alaska says that La Movida was not a generational thing, but rather the people between 13 to 30 who were discarded by their own generations came together. It was the first time since the Spanish Civil War in which generations of young and old joined together and had a symbiosis. It was completely different people who were creating music, painting as well as making their own fashion. All the arts were interrelated.
Guillermo Pérez Villalta speaks of La Movida as a movement that high culture despised. And as to the ideological branch, the right party thought that La Movida was supported by socialism, which was unclear, the left party was not interested because they thought they were all trust fund babies. The reality is that they were young people that wanted to have fun and play concerts.
For all the Movida’s artifices, it is thought that the “founders” were two Andalusian artists: Enrique Naya and Juan Carrero, who had fled the provincial atmosphere of Cadiz and later became known as Costus. They arrived to Madrid in the middle of the transition, opened the doors to their house on Palma Street of Malasaña neighbourhood and started La Movida Madrileña: their home was the focus where it all started up: Pedro Almodóvar filmed his films there, Alaska went there every night, … everyone passed by.
The producer Miguel Angel Arenas admits that all were really Daddy’s boys: Carlos Berlanga, son of the filmmaker Luis García Berlanga; Nacho Canut, son of an almost noble family; all lived in their homes and the brave ones who lived in Malasaña at that time were only Costus. So much so that Francisco Umbral called the house of Costus the ” convent for wayward star, where the enfants terrible gather to mock the serious world that their parents have created.” But the truth is that the house of Costus (a term that came from Seamstresses, because they spent all day painting) was a small factory in which the freedom that was felt at the time pushed them to visit it and then to express itself artistically.
Costus, the Documentary takes a look at a movement through the path taken by these two painters, who came together and created Costus, whose name decorated the mythical bar La Vía Láctea and held the “The Illustrated Chochonismo” and “The Valle de Los Caídos” transgressor exhibitions.