Poet of Guaran

In style and content imitating its undisciplined subject, helmer Federico Martini Crotti's docu "Poet of Guaran" is a celebratory profile of Argentinian folkmusic hero Edgar Estigarribia. Crotti cuts and layers and superimposes too indiscriminately to leave anything but a dizzying residue of the man.

In style and content imitating its undisciplined subject, helmer Federico Martini Crotti’s docu “Poet of Guaran” is a celebratory profile of Argentinian folkmusic hero Edgar Estigarribia. A larger-than-life character and a legend (in some circles) at home, Estigarribia was a leading exponent of the accordion-based music called Chamame, which he poeticized with long recitations accompanying the tunes. Crotti cuts and layers and superimposes too indiscriminately to leave anything but a dizzying residue of the man, though music fests will want to program this look at a lesser-known grassroots genre.

Rebellious from an early age, Estigarribia dropped out of school and joined fellow Chamame stylist Tarrago Ros before branching out on his own. His talent as a spontaneous versifier was channeled into song, melding recitation and music until one was unthinkable without the other. But a lack of restraint in all areas meant a topsy-turvy life, recounted by friends and family. Starting with the lovely animated credits, helmer Crotti’s unruly form tries to assimilate too much, never allowing even a minor comment to exist without visual or aural commentary. Subtitles have great difficulty conveying the lure of Estigarribia’s poetry.

Poet of Guaran

Argentina

Production: A Travesia Producciones, Producciones GranCosa, Compania General de la Imagen S.R.L. production. Produced by Maria Teresa Arida. Executive producer, Federico Martini Crotti. Directed, written byFederico Martini Crotti.

Crew: Camera (color, Beta), Crotti; editors, Crotti, Catalina Rincon Giraldo; art director, Crotti; sound, Jesica Suarez, Marcelo Galluzzo, German Rozo, Catalina Rincon Giraldo, Esteban Mainoli, Ariel Copello, ANDASONIDO. Reviewed on DVD, Rome, April 10, 2006. (In Mar del Plata Film Festival -- Latin American Documentaries.) Running time: 92 MIN.

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