“Fierce legend”: review of a popular phenomenon | Documentary by Denise Urfeig and Mariano Frigerio

“Fierce legend”: review of a popular phenomenon | Documentary by Denise Urfeig and Mariano Frigerio
“Fierce legend”: review of a popular phenomenon | Documentary by Denise Urfeig and Mariano Frigerio


(Argentina, 2024)

Address: Denise Urfeig and Mariano Frigerio.

Script: Mariano Frigerio.

Duration: 77 minutes.

Premiering exclusively at Cine Gaumont and Incaa spaces.

Beyond its cinematographic values ​​and demerits, there is no doubt that Fierce tango: the legend of Tanguito It was one of the most notable phenomena of Argentine cinema in the ’90s., times in which local production was squalid and the Film Law was barely a wish. The premiere in mid-1993 of the Marcelo Piñeyro’s debut film unexpectedly became such a public success, surpassing the million and a half viewers, that the theaters did not seem to be able to meet the demand for seats. This is how the main makers of the film remember it in fierce legendthe documentary by Denise Urfeig and Mariano Frigerio recently presented at the Baficiwhile images of the buildings and premises that today usurp the space once occupied by the great film temples of Lavalle Street and other Buenos Aires neighborhoods appear.

In this context of pre-landing exhibition of the large chains (the shopping cinemas, as they were called), fierce tango It caught the attention of a young audience unaccustomed to seeing Argentine films. In the process, it transformed the careers of all those involved, starting with Piñeyro himself and the protagonists, Fernán Mirás, Cecilia Dopazo and Leonardo Sbaraglia. Urfeig and Frigerio depart from the famous scene filmed at the Fishermen’s Club to begin a journey of reconstruction of the project, writing the script, filming and the aftermath of the release. One of the most interesting passages in the documentary has to do with the quality (or not) of biopic of the story. The script by Piñeyro and Aída Bortnik undoubtedly takes some elements from the real life of José Alberto Iglesias, alias Tanguito, one of the pioneers of vernacular rock and roll, but the biographical and artistic licenses are many and varied.

In fact, and beyond the reluctance of some colleagues and friends of the honoree to participate in the project, there is no doubt about the anachronistic quality of many conscious decisions in the design of art, costumes and makeup: the ’60s of fierce tango, at times, look too similar to the ’90s filming, although with a retro touch. The pounding melody of the hit composed especially for the film, “Love is stronger”, It will never replace “La balsa”, but it was played on radios and compact discs! Yes ok fierce legend has celebratory edges, the filmmakers leave room for critical and other dissent. Javier Martínez, the founder of Manal, who died last Saturday, has several things to say about the film’s script, none of them too positive, and Litto Nebbia’s refusal to give up the rights to the famous song composed in the The bathroom of the La Perla del Once bar goes in the same direction.

The memory of the texts published on the occasion of the premiere (there is one in particular that still hurts the director of Wild horses and ashes of paradise) provide some critical context, as several of the film’s actors tour the locations where iconic scenes were filmed. The recent revival of fierce tango In a restored copy, it closes the documentary’s journey, increasing the feeling of melancholy, of a time that was hard but beautiful, in the words of some young viewers who today are going through their four decades of life. fierce tango will not have the cult status of Waiting for the carriagewhich Urfeig and Frigerio addressed in their previous film, Bodybuildersbut his images of twenty-somethings in a state of rock and roll rebellion already have their own fan club.

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