Fabiana Cantilo, a “survivor of chaos”, and the desire to make films. Photo. German Adrasti.
What do dissimilar art figures like Carlos Gardel and the Combinado Argentino de Danza have in common? They both knew how to act at the Teatro 25 de Mayo in Villa Urquiza.
Inaugurated in 1929, saved a few years ago by the action of neighbors in the neighborhood from a possible fate of apartment tower or temple church evangelist, the theater has been completely restored and transformed into a cultural center since 2008, the place remains a cornerstone of that Buenos Aires. Aires which in its own way, with its ups and downs, is still a continental and, in some cases, global artistic reference. So much so that in its heyday it was called “Petit Colón”.
On a freezing, sunny winter afternoon, May 25 is the rehearsal location for the film. tears of firewritten and performed by Fabiana Cantilo, with Gastón Pauls and Inés Estevez as Hilltops, and directed by Gabriel Grieco.
Fabiana Cantilo, Gaston Pauls and Gabriel Grieco. Pictures The German Garcia Adrasti
The film tells the story of Laura (Cantilo), a woman recently discharged from a psychiatric clinic, who wants to put her life back together, face a dark past and be reunited with her daughter.
This shoot will last four weeks and will also be part of Florencia Peña, Pipo Cipolatti, Julia Zenko, Marisa Mere, Santiago Montes de Oca, Victoria Aragón and Claudia Puyó, among others. The film is expected to hit theaters in mid-2023 and, according to Grieco’s wishes, will go through the usual circuit of any fictional release.
Fabiana Cantilo, author and protagonist of “Lágrimas de fuego”. Pictures The German Garcia Adrasti
The origin of the project
But how did the idea of writing and acting in a film come about in the head of one of the greatest female icons of Argentine rock?
“After doing it Project 33 (2017), which is my live album, I said ‘I’ll write a movie and I’ll be the protagonist because no one will hire me’ “, says Fabiana, with the energy of a whirlwind.
Continue the same way. “Then they challenged me, they said ‘How are you going to do this?’ Done: I created a WhatsApp group. That’s how I’m going to do it, never go against me! (laughs). We started throwing ideas and so the time passed. I summoned Gastón and Inés Estevez, Pipo Cipolatti and Claudia (Puyó) and I started cracking the characters. “
And he adds: “Finally, after the comings and goings, I summoned Gabriel Grieco, who told me that this was missing. And Santiago Montes de Oca wrote everything that was missing. It is a tragicomedy of the mystery, which many will not understand”. .
the director speaks
Gabriel Grieco, the director. Pictures The German Garcia Adrasti
“The pandemic helped us work on the script, present it at the INCAA, start looking for producers and finish everything,” says director Grieco. “And you also have to take a good look at the whole universe that Fabiana brings, coming from rock and having the friends she has. There is a musical world that seems super interesting to me. Because the film, although it is a tragicomedy, has something of that musical world and a certain clip-on aesthetic ”.
Gaston Pauls joins
Gaston Paul. Pictures The German Garcia Adrasti
“Fabi joined me several years ago. One day he invited me to his house to tell me about the project. I arrived and he said ‘Let’s go to the pool’. Then we went to his Pelopincho and he told me eighty ideas that weren’t very close to each other (laughs), ”recalls Pauls, amused but measured.
And he continues: “I found that sketch of a story interesting. He put a table work on it, by Olivetti, and finished shaping the story. But beyond all this, I enjoyed accompanying Fabi in this. Because he has accompanied me many times, in many things, with his songs, nights and days, from the turntable, on the turntable, on the Walkman and on the discman. And now on Spotify.
Based on real events
Fabiana Cantilo and Gastón Pauls, united by the desire to make cinema. Photo. German Adrasti.
-Fabiana, why do you say that many people will not understand the film?
-Fabiano: Because it happened to us when the writers read it, who told us “There is a person who cries and then laughs”. And yes, it happens to me. That’s life. And although it is “based on true events”, it is not my biography.
They proposed that I do my bio, and I told them no, that I will do it when I am 80 years old. I am very phobic: notice that in the networks they do not discover my private life. Apart from the biographies there is something that is in fashion, and I am very anti-fashion. My latest album is more Peter Gabriel than reggaeton. I enjoy proposing new things, the other seems to bring me. At this age, if I haven’t traded before, I’m not going to trade now …
-Gastone: The story is very special. What is being told is a played down drama, due to the inclusion of some characters who come to bring some color into a rather dark story. And my character, without a doubt, is one of the darkest, with a profound and fundamental impact on Fabiana’s character.
A survivor of the chaos
Fabiano Cantillo. Pictures The German Garcia Adrasti
-Fabiana is not a mother, but I know that in the film we will see a story between a mother and a daughter.
-Gabriel: Although she is not a mother, she is a daughter. Fabiana, like her, has the attitudes of a mother, without having gone through the process of being a biological mother. She has taken on that role on many occasions. You are a very generous and very righteous person. It happened to me, during the whole working process, that she doesn’t negotiate her art of hers. She experiences it as something sacred. And the same thing happens in life.
-Fabiano: There are thousands of crazy things happening, and this is one. Another is that I have found myself being re-patient when I am not. There have been thousands of twists and corrections to the script. Barbarian swimming in the midst of chaos. Rock and roll prepares you for such things and I am a survivor of chaos.
-And how do you see Fabiana as an actress?
-Gabriel: I see it very well. I saw its evolution: when we started, in the beginning, everything was like a game. In hypersomnia she was a bad one, but there were few scenes. She now she is a protagonist king. In the film it is Luz Palazón, who is her acting teacher of hers, and she followed the subject with Santiago Montes de Oca.
I think it will be her breakthrough in acting, because we’re going to see her in a different tone. She comes out of the hospital accused of being an arsonist, of wanting to set her daughter on fire. And she doesn’t remember anything. Then it turns out that she really wants to know what happened and she wants to meet her daughter again. The music is on the periphery, in the characters that are about to appear.
-Gastone: She is an artist, she is very clear on which vote goes and which doesn’t. You have been clear on stage all your life. And reading the script I think the story is well told because there are no extra notes. In the story she is very clear about what she wants to tell, and this is where Fabiana’s personality comes into play.
We have seen many musicians perform: from Bowie and Sting to Lady Gaga. And look at Los Twist: from the beginning they had an acting and authorial research in and out of music. Pipo with TV and those characters he created, Melingo lives as a leotard and a Buster Keaton-style visual artist. And Fabiana handles that idea too.
-Fabiano: I am big. I say this because I studied since I was a little girl, I was gifted in the arts from an early age and I recently studied four years with Luz. If it wasn’t good, I wouldn’t.
The music in the film
An image from the shooting of “Lágrimas de fuego”, by Gabriel Grieco with Librod and Fabiana Cantilo.
-What role does music play in this story?
-Gabriel: It has a lot of music: there will be old songs but there will also be a new soundtrack, which includes incidental music as well as new songs. The film will be highly musical, something that will differentiate it from national cinema. There are a lot of clip sequences, but all of them respond to the story.
For example, there’s a rocker who gets hooked on a fan’s story, and it’s kind of like something that happened to Fabiana in real life. There are movies out there that are dramas that have a lot of music, like A star was born. But the great thing here is that Fabiana runs away from the Fabiana we all know to play Laura, and not her alter ego of her rocker. Why inside A star was born Lady Gaga plays a singer.
-Fabiano: Finally an Argentine film will have some good music! Half of the music will be by Marisa Mere, who plays a rock diva, and the other half of me: all fearful. There’s a rap I do for my husband, then a song for my mom who’s a fucking daughter of a bitch, a song I do for my daughter and another that my daughter sings to her father.
Argentine films don’t have good music because it’s very expensive. The use of each theme already registered costs 250 thousand pesos. That’s why all the songs are new, because I don’t know why new music is cheaper. It’s a mess.
-Gastone: Here’s something interesting: the music is present, but not in the character of Fabiana. In her character, music is what saves her. There are also many references to the history of Argentine rock. And there are few women who have accumulated this world of so much testosterone like her. She has entity, reflexes and clarity to tell it.
-Finally, Fabiana, how do you see current Argentine music?
-Fabiano: I don’t see Argentine music. What language do they speak to me? The level is divine, I like the trap, everything is great. Now, what happened to the Indians? They keep killing them and I’ll take care of reviving them. Fito and Charly have always subliminally included folklore and tango in their music: now I play folklore and tango in my recitals.
I also did it with Lisandro Aristimuño stone cradle (2019). I respect all musical expressions, I just say that it would be nice if we looked inside and not so much outside at all levels. The only one who dared to overcome the gap was Piazzolla.
Why do we always copy black rappers? Note: these are questions. That is why I will devote myself to talking about the Indians. I want to do something with the drums, I play Juana Azurduy alone with a bass drum and I’ll go there. Everyone wants to be a rock star, and that’s stupid: it’s not funny.