His Tango: between sleep and wakefulness
Director and screenplay: Juan Pablo Tabbita, Leonel Capitano.
Executive production: Leonel Capitano.
Production assistant in Cuba: Francys Fuentes Nazco.
Colour: Garfagnoli brand.
Sound: Nicholas Vaiana.
Music: Agustín Guerrero, Leonel Capitano.
With: Leonel Capitano, Agustín Guerrero, Sandra Ivette, Rodrigo García Ameneiro, Malena Díaz Calderín, Pepe Ordas, Guillermo Gonzales, Alexander Acosta Cobas.
Duration: 73 minutes.
Venue: Cairo Public Cinema.
8 (eight) points
On the promise of this film, musician Leonel Capitano has repeatedly commented. Among his many projects, tours and albums, a documentary has been announced with an upcoming date. It was a musical journey through Cuba, whose motivations were the reunion with a loved one, a canoeist for whom the musician composed a song. We had to look for him, rediscover him, in order to make him listen to the words and melody live and in his daily environment. From these particular signs, the narrative unfolding of the work could be more or less foreseen. But the truth is that the film directed by Leonel Capitano and Juan Pablo Tabbita is much more, it is remarkable and marks an important milestone in the career of the musician, now also a director. His Tango: between sleep and wakefulness It will have its premiere next Friday, at 8:30 p.m., at the El Cairo Cine Público (Santa Fe 1120), with free admission.
Other fundamental characteristics of the project were announced in the collaboration with Agustín Guerrero, whom Capitano never tires of designating as the Piazzolla of the new century. The admiration is surely mutual. As well as with the co-director, Juan Pablo Tabbita. What has been said is inferred from the world of music that Capitano explores and shares, and that the images of they tango corroborate. And beware: it does so like a journey between narrative and experimental, where the images cheerfully continue a story that they subvert, through a juxtaposition where the rhythm of Cuban music and tango acts as the best compass.
In this way, they tango It is a literal and metaphorical journey, whose title already knows how to alert: “sleep and awakening” between what could have lasted many days, long hours and long nights, with afternoon suns that illuminate gleaming cars, old and still relevant, to an island whose rebellion – worn walls, with deep cracks – still resists. To get there, there is first a plane that lands in Havana. The succession of episodes could well have happened as indicated, but not either. There are no voiceovers that say what needs to be understood, but rather music that marks the course of the protagonists and marks the rhythm of the story.
All they tango it is a musical investigation, but above all an audiovisual one; This is cinema, and here the music officiates as an additional element, and although it is the most important, it will be consistent with the staging, dedicated to the portrait of an experience as vital as it is happy. It’s that Tabbita/Capitano’s documentary opens up a world to inhabit, unites melodies, combines life stories, and discovers music in the body, words and walls, those walls of Havana that say so much, as scaled as they are stoic.
The reference to the song dedicated to the canoeist, “Cayuquero del Yumurí”, will take time to emerge, the film delays it – without having warned the viewer, who may as well know it as not, it is not necessary – and stops at other stations, other episodes and other stops. It does so as a succession of actions that arise juxtaposed from memory, as if they were all part of the same long day/night. There are recordings, dialogue tables, agreements in friendly houses, people and flags in the Plaza de la Revolución, popular neighborhoods and dances in the street. All they tango Is a celebration. Precisely, the tango is the key through which Capitano speaks, with his voice or with the bandoneon. In doing so, the dialogues with others arise on their own, the musical response is assured, and this is something he obviously knows, by intuition or wisdom, whatever it may be, but with the certainty that some something deeper is part of the rhythmic communion. These are historical and political roots, which emerge on the spot.
The future of the journey will ultimately lead to meeting the beloved canoeist. There, in the canoe and among the stories of the times of the conquest that the canoeist remembers, Capitano will play the song he promised. If the editing, until then, had favored a profusion of situations that worked together, like a large puzzle, it is there that it withdraws and allows the musician and the song to unfold under the gaze of the canoeist. Time rests, the song speaks. But above all and also, the gestures and the gaze of the one to whom it is addressed.
they tango It’s a good surprise, it has a relevant visual and narrative power. It works like a large fresco, a fresco that knows how to synthesize the musical and experiential experience of its protagonists. At the same time, it invites to a plural journey. Some are looking through the camera. There is who lives what happens. And there is the one who observes what happened, in front of the screen. The relationship is notably completed in this film, because fortunately there is no didactic subject, but an invitation to the meeting and the explosion between the images and the music that it contains. A paired, mixed and joyful music, of memories that carry with them ancestral stories, that inhabit the same bodies of those who dance in the streets. Images that reflect an insightful look, attentive to the green geography of the landscape and the cracks of the city, in saturated colors and black and white; in short, images heard like notes capable of composing that other melody with its own explosive rhythm offered by cinema.
Finally, let’s add that Capitano and Tabbita’s film was selected at the Italian Independent Film Festival, and that it already has scheduled screenings in Barcelona, Paris, Luxembourg, Amsterdam and Berlin. The musical journey of his images has only just begun.