Gaumont Cinema, Av. Rivadavia 1635 CABA.
Ticket cost $90
One day, Claudia Sandina says, she discovered Homero Expósito. It was with “Vete de mí”, the bolero written and composed by the poet from Zárate and his brother Virgilio. That day changed her life. So the filmmaker set out to research the lyricist’s work and, finally, to film Vida Poeta, which will premiere this Thursday at 6 pm at the Gaumont (Av. Rivadavia 1637). Sandina travels through the landscapes where Expósito grew up, interviews those who treated him (such as Raúl Lavié, his wife Nelly or his niece, among others), his current colleagues (such as Matías Mauricio), singers and tango specialists. There are even some fictionalized passages, where actors play Homero, his partner, and Luciana Díaz Colodrero, vice-president of the association Trabajadores del Tango Danza, participates dancing.
When it comes to explaining the reasons why she decided to investigate the universe of the author of the lyrics of “Naranjo en flor”, “Afiches” and “Tristezas de la calle Corrientes”, among other great tangos, Sandina points out that she realized that “there was no documentary film about a tango poet. There are those about musicians and singers: about Piazzolla, Pichuco, Ada Falcón, Nelly Omar), but not about poets. Vida poet is the first one. Maybe because they are not the visible face of a work, they are not identified so much. So the authors are a bit in the shadows. I wanted to shed light so that they can be seen. In 2017 I set out to make a documentary about Homer as a tribute to his centenary, which was in 2018, but the times were getting longer and I finished it in 2021. I chose Homer because I understand that he synthesizes the poetic quality in the lyrics of tangos. That does not mean, of course, that other poets do not have it, but his poetry is different. It is traditional, but bold and innovative at the same time, almost surrealistic. I wanted to highlight this poetry, often overlooked as a minor art. Nelly, Homer’s wife and interviewee of the documentary, who keeps all the poet’s archive, gave me a lot of help on this point.
-Weren’t you tempted to work on the brother as well?
-I thought about it a lot. But the story would have been different, and I was attracted by the idea of focusing deeply on his work, his training and his journey as a poet and as a man of that glorious generation of ’40. Besides, the initial objective was to make a tribute for his centenary. Anyway, Virgilio and the Expósito family are also very present in Vida poeta, they have a very important and emotional place. Mónica Expósito, Virgilio’s daughter, is one of the main interviewees of the documentary and the guardian of the family. I am not discovering anything when I say that Virgilio was a brilliant composer. And he was an artist who deserves another documentary, to delve into him alone.
-I understand that you are in the milonguero circuit, where the work of the Expósito family is still very present. How do you perceive their “absence” outside those spaces?
-I dance tango and go to the milongas, besides researching and writing, but in the milonguero circuit, believe it or not, the authors are little known. Maybe this is so because the dancer is more connected to the voice of the singer and to the orchestra that performs the tangos. Yes, obviously, the name of Homero Expósito is known as a great poet of the genre, but his great work is little identified. Many even confuse him with Homero Manzi. And outside the milonguero circuit, he is little or not at all known.
-Besides the contribution of the documentary, what would be necessary for his work to be better known?
-I think that tango should be in schools, that literature classes should work on tango poetry.