Tango Notes

Watching "Tango Notes" is like eavesdropping on a deadly serious conversation between connoisseurs of the famous Argentine song and dance. In a film-essay hovering between docu and fiction, director Rafael Filippelli suggests that the tango is largely history by now, a memory kept alive by a few aficionados.

With:
With: Pablo Bardauil, Elsa Berenguer, Pablo Blitstein, Josefina Darriba, Carlos Fijman, Rafael Filippelli, Eugenio Monjeau, Attilio Polverini, Elvio Vitali.

Watching “Tango Notes” is like eavesdropping on a deadly serious conversation between connoisseurs of the famous Argentine song and dance. In a film-essay hovering between docu and fiction, director Rafael Filippelli suggests that the tango is largely history by now, a memory kept alive by a few aficionados. At the opposite extreme from Carlos Saura’s sensual dance film “Tango,” pic is an open-ended, fictional investigation into the genre. Following three young people who are researching the tango’s roots for a film they’re making, pic spits out lots of info and runs some superb musical numbers by its public, which will most likely be found in fests or video stores.

A contemporary singer of the broken-hearted tune “People Call Me a Boozer” draws fine distinctions between the great historic performers, from Carlos Gardel and Anibal Troilo to revolutionary instrumentalist Astor Piazzolla. Another scene shows the excruciating embarrassment of a woman singer from tango’s golden age who can’t remember the song lyrics. Very intelligent but inconclusive, the film resembles a veteran piano player’s definition of tango: The final chords are never resolved, because the woman we love never comes back.

Tango Notes

Argentina

Production: Produced by Osvaldo Pedrosa. Directed by Rafael Filippelli. Screenplay, Filippelli, David Oubina.

Crew: Camera (color), Carlos Essmann; editor, Novaro De Rosa; art director, Guadalupe Perez Garcia; associate producer, Pablo Wiszina. Reviewed at Buenos Aires Independent Cinema Festival, April 23, 2001. Running time: 95 MIN.

With: With: Pablo Bardauil, Elsa Berenguer, Pablo Blitstein, Josefina Darriba, Carlos Fijman, Rafael Filippelli, Eugenio Monjeau, Attilio Polverini, Elvio Vitali.

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