Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. Spain/France/Italy/Mexico/Belgium, 2000. Cinétévé, Fernando Trueba Producciones Cinematográficas, SGAE, Arte France Cinéma, Canal+, Televisión Española, Vía Digital, Fandango, Tequila Gang. Screenplay by Fernando Trueba. Cinematography by Jose Luis Lopez-Linares. Produced by Cristina Huete, Fabienne Servan-Schreiber, Fernando Trueba. Music by Graeme Revell. Film Editing by Carmen Frias. Toronto International Film Festival 2000.
The music in Fernando Trueba’s tribute to his favourite Latin jazz artists couldn’t be better, but without any personal statements or stories from any of the featured players it emerges only a mildly satisfying documentary that pales in comparison to the delightful Buena Vista Social Club. However, critics of Wim Wenders’ Cuban jazz documentary who were annoyed with him cutting in between musical numbers to interview its stars will be delighted by Trueba’s completely undisturbed and interrupted performances, featuring some artists (Tito Puente, etc.) who truly are quite magnificent at what they do. The film could definitely have been shorter though, and Trueba never really makes a strong enough point about all these artists he admires so.