Part 4. Pugliese in films.
Author: Isidro Aguirre
He was part of eight films, including:
“La mujer más honesta del mundo” (which means “The most honest women in the world”) in 1947, “Mis cinco hijos” (which means “My five children” in 1948, “El tango es una historia” (which means “Tango is a story”) in 1982, “Tango y tango”, in 1984, “Tangos, el exilio de Gardel” (which means “Tangos, Gardel’s exile) in 1986, “Pobre mariposa” (which means “Poor butterfly”) in 1986, “Convivencia” (which means “Coexistence”) in 1994 and “Muchas gracias, maestro” (which means, “Thank you, professor”) in 1994, which was never released.
The first, “La mujer más honesta del mundo” (1947) is an argentine black and white film directed by Leopoldo Torres Ríos, who wrote the screen play based on the theatre play which goes by the same name written by Enrique Guastavino in collaboration with Leopoldo Torre Nilsson. The leading roles were played by Pepe Arias, Ana María Lynch, Miguel Faust Rocha and Felisa Mary. Pugliese, together with his orchestra and singers Roberto Chanel and Alberto Morán play the tanto “Mirando la Lluvia” (which means looking at the rain). This film was banned in Buenos Aires because it was considered to be immoral by the municipal censorship commission, and therefore it was very briefly exhibited in some places in other provinces on the country.
The next film was “Mis cinco hijos” (1948). It is an argentine black and white film which was directed by actor Orestes Caviglia and Bernrado Spoliansky using Nathan Pinzon’s screen play. The leading roles were played by Domingo Sapelli, Ilde Pirovano, Ricardo Trigo, Rodolfo Crespi and the five Alonso brothers: Tito, Pola, Luis, Mario and Héctor. Throughout the film the following tangos performed by Pugliese and his orchestra can be heard: “Una vez” (which means “One time”) composed by Pugliese and Cátulo Castillo and sung by Alberto Morán, “Las marionetas” (which means “The marionets”) and “Adiós Bardi” (which means “Goodbye Bardi”), two instrumental pieces composed by Pugliese and “Cabecitas blancas” (which means “White heads”) composed by Alberto Pugliese and Enrique Dizeo and sung by Roberto Chanel. The orchestra interprets “La yumba”, which by then had already become one of don Osvaldo’s representative tangos and “A barquinazos”, which the great composer created together with Homero Expósito.
After that came “El tango es una historia” (1982), which is a documentary in which Humberto Ríos films Osvaldo Pugliese’s, Piazzolla’s and Susana Rinaldi’s concerts performed at the Auditorio Nacional de México.
Later came “Tango and tango” (1984), which is also a documentary coproduced by Argentina and Cuba, directed by Mauricio Berú according to his own screen play, filmed in La Habana during the Tango International Festival. It includes the film’s rehearsals and preparations. Amongst its protagonists is Osvaldo Pugliese who performs tangos “La yumba” and “Recuerdo”. This film was not commercially exhibited, yet it participated in several festivals.
Then came “Tangos, el exilio de Gardel” (1986), which is an argentine-french film directed by Fernando Solas according to his own screen play, in which the reading roles are played by Marie Laforet, Miguel Ángel Solá and Phillippe Leotard. Maestro Pugliese interprets his hymn “La yumba”.
“La pobre mariposa” (1986) came in next. It is an argentine film filmed in Easton colour and directed by Raúl de la Torre according to his own screen play written in collaboration with Aída Bortnik. Its leading roles are Graciela Borges, Lautaro Murúa, Pepe Soriano, Víctor Laplace and Bibi Andersson. This film interprets Pugliese’s song “Recuerdo”.
It also intervened in “Convivencia” (1994) a dramatic comedy argentine film, directed by Carlos Galettini according to his own screen play, based on Oscar Viale’s theatre play and written in collaboration with Luisa Irene Ickowicz. It was starred by José Sacristán, Luis Brandoni, Betiana Blum, Víctor Laplace and Cecilia Dopazo. In this film, Pugliese and his orchestra interpret “La yumba” and Canaro’s “Charamusca”.
Finally, the last film was “Muchas gracias, maestro” (1994), in which Pugliese plays the leading role telling his trajectory. This homage was directed by Luis Segura and because of legal conflicts amongst the producers it still hasn’t premiered.
Despite what has been exposed, Pugliese’s music can be heard in numerous films’ soundtracks even though he doesn’t participate since they were filmed after his death.
His music shows up in Carlos Saura’s prominent film “Tango” (1998), in which “Recuerdo” and “La yumba” can be heard. “La yumba” was danced by english director Sally Potter together with argentine Pablo Verón one year before in “La lección de tango” (1997). We can add to this list other films produced in the 21st century, which prove that maestro and tango are still present today. “La yumba” and “Recuerdo”, together with Emilio Balcarce’s “La bordona”, all versions played by Pugliese’s orchestra, can be enjoyed in the French film “Dans le rouge du couchant” (2003). “Negracha” can be heard as musical background in Eduardo Kozarinsky’s “Ronda Nocturna” (which means Nocturnal round) (2004). Kozarinsky was an argentine director who has established in Paris. “Recuerdo” can be heard in “Años rebeldes” (which means “Rebel years”) (1996), an argentine-italian coproduction, directed by Rosalía Polizzi, an argentine director who has established in Italy.