×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Docu Filmmaker Daniel Rosenfeld on Tango Musician Astor Piazzolla

Daniel Rosenfeld’s “Piazzolla, the Years of the Shark,” a biographical documentary about tango musician Astor Piazzolla, world premieres at the Intl. Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). Rosenfeld talked with Variety about Piazzolla’s legacy, the revelations within the film and his interesting exhibition strategy.

Piazzolla is, along with Carlos Gardel, the most notable tango musician of the 20th century. The film features a previously unreleased collection of interviews with the artist himself, recorded before his death in 1992. The film uses those tapes, video of classic performances and the extensive memorabilia collection of Piazzolla’s son, Daniel, to tell the story of the international superstar.

The film is an Argentine-French co-production between Rosenfeld – an equally accomplished producer and director – and France’s Françoise Gazio from Idéale Audience. Euroarts is handling sales.

Rosenfeld found early success as a documentary filmmaker with his 2000 debut “Saluzzi – Essay for Bandoneon and Three Brothers.” The bandoneon, similar to an accordion, plays a major role in “Piazzolla” as well.

How is Piazzolla viewed in Argentina today? He seemed much happier, much more comfortable in other countries where his work was more appreciated, but I wonder if there is a greater appreciation of his work today than during his lifetime.

Nowadays, everyone in Argentina admires Piazzolla’s music. But in the ‘50s and ‘60s a lot of people hated his music. They couldn’t dance with his rhythms; he was changing the Tango. Today international musicians like Chick Corea, Martha Argerich, Yo-Yo Ma, Mick Jagger and Caetano Veloso all play and love his music.

What did you learn about Astor and about his family while you were making this film?

Before doing the film I believed that some of his strongest or most melancholic melodies came from the nostalgia of cities in Argentina he adored like Mar del Plata and Buenos Aires. But now I believe his big love was New York. He grew up there in the ‘30s, he lived 14 years there. He always wanted to come back to New York. Childhood has a lot of clues in the creative process.

What was the goal in making this film? Was it just to tell the history of this transcendent talent? Or is there something else you want audiences to take from the film?

The goal was to make a “Piazzolla by Piazzolla” film. We don’t have talking heads. Ninety per cent is previously unseen footage and amazing music, or personal archives revealed by his son for the first time. But it is not a film only about his music, It is also about a father and his child, family loves and the mysteries of creation.

You have an interesting strategy for exhibition. Can you discuss that, and where else you will be going with the film?

The international premiere is at IDFA, at the Carré Theater, with a Bandoneon concert before the film screens. In December the film will have its Asian premiere in Japan. In Argentina it just recently premiered in theaters, fully booked since the first screening, then Netherlands, France and Portugal so far. In Argentina I have organized special screenings with a bandoneon player live before each. It’s been crazy, but people love it.

More Film

  • The Eight Hundred (The 800)

    China Film Marketing Firms Must Adapt To Internet Age, Says Huayi's Jerry Ye

    Huayi Brothers Pictures CEO and media group VP Jerry Ye made no mention Sunday of the abrupt cancellation of the premiere for his firm’s highly anticipated war epic “The Eight Hundred,” which was set to be the Shanghai Intl. Film Festival’s opening film the night before. Instead, he looked to the future at a panel [...]

  • The Meg

    Chinese Script Development Requires A Different Touch, Top Producers Say

    Leading film producers highlighted the challenges of developing good scripts in China and abroad at a panel during the Shanghai International Film Festival on Sunday. Wanda Media GM Jiang Wei (aka Wayne Jiang) recommended that producers remain aware of the real differences between the scriptwriting process for Chinese productions versus international and co-productions. The fundamental [...]

  • Lou Ye's "Spring Fever"

    Shanghai: Previously-Banned Producer Nai An Now Hails Chinese Film Funding

    At a panel on indie film production at the Shanghai Intl. Film Festival, Chinese and foreign producers discussed the shifting funding landscape for their projects over the years. Nai An, the longtime collaborator of controversial sixth generation Chinese filmmaker Lou Ye, kicked off the talk with a look back at her producing career, which has [...]

  • My Dear Friend

    Shanghai Film Review: 'My Dear Friend'

    Like a slow-acting hallucinogen, Chinese director Yang Pingdao’s audaciously strange and sorrowful feature debut works its magic so gradually that it’s with a slight surprise that halfway through you glance down and realize you’re high off the social-realist ground, suspended surreally in the air. At first a gritty tale of feckless men abandoning their families [...]

  • Agent M (Tessa Thompson) and Agent

    Box Office: 'Men in Black: International' Ranks No. 1 Overseas With $74 Million

    Sony’s “Men in Black: International” is making good on its title, leading overseas box office charts with $74 million from 56 foreign territories. Combined with its disappointing $28 million start in North America, the latest chapter in the sci-fi action series debuted with $102.2 million globally. “Men in Black: International” sees “Thor: Ragnarok” co-stars Tessa [...]

  • Agent H (Chris Hemsworth) and Agent

    'Men in Black: International' Leads Box Office With Muted $28 Million

    Hollywood seems to be coming down with a contagious case of franchise fatigue this summer, as “Men in Black: International” and “Shaft” become the latest sequels largely dismissed by moviegoers in North America. Sony’s “Men in Black: International” led ticket sales at the box office this weekend with $28.5 million, but still fell short of [...]

  • International Film Festival and Awards Macao

    Macao Festival Signs Double Deals With Shanghai

    The International Film Festival & Awards Macao on Sunday signed twin agreements with institutions in Shanghai. The IFFAM, which is building towards its fourth edition in December, struck a collaboration agreement with the Shanghai International Film Festival. Separately, it is solidifying an existing informal arrangement with the Shanghai Film Art Academy concerning an exchange of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content