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“You see Tangana triumphing on stage, but you don’t realize that there is so much suffering behind it” | ICON

by News Room
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This excessive ambition It is not the typical tour documentary that one would expect, and more so from an artist at the top of the entertainment world like C. Tangana. The so-called Without singing or tuning Tourwhich served as the presentation of the album The Madrid native, has remained a historic tour, an absolute triumph that marks a before and after in Hispanic music. However, when it came to documenting it, its three directors, Santos Bacana, Rogelio González and Cristina Trenas (all of them members of the creative collective Little Spain), have opted for another perspective.

The film, nominated for the Goya Award for best documentary, shows the development of the tour, as well as the internal problems that accompanied its development. At times, what they tell resembles some story by Werner Herzog, type Fitzcarraldo, about an impossible project in which everything becomes a nightmare and is constantly on the verge of derailing. “There was a moment in editing when we became too obsessed with the idea of ​​finding the conflict,” Cristina reveals. “What we found interesting is that this is something that is not usually seen. You see Pucho triumphing on stage, but you don’t realize that behind it there is this suffering, this demand and this perfectionism. He rarely takes the easy way out or feels satisfied. In the end, being able to do something that has an impact, that is good and powerful, comes at the cost of there being a lot of drama.”

“He is really the first one to put an obstacle in front of him,” adds Santos. “It’s not that everything goes wrong, it’s that he proposes something very big and very difficult to transfer and move around the world, for the mere fact of wanting to do justice to the album, but also for the ambition of devising a show that breaks with what is established. In the end his main enemy is himself. His managerKigo tells him in one of the first conversations: ‘Five of us could have done this tour and we would all have been rich.’

According to the co-director, “the film lacks more moments of enjoying the tour, but the rhythm of the story was what it was, and we did not want to detach ourselves from the main narrative, from all the path that had to be traveled to complete a project like this. If you want to recreate the success, that’s why the DVD with the entire concert will be released.”

Cap from Little Spain, the audiovisual project formed by Santos Bacana, Rogelio González and Cristina Trenas.Sharon Lopez

In the audiovisual world, individual authorship predominates, but you advocate collective authorship. Why is it better to work as a team?

Santos Cool In the case of this documentary, I think it has been greatly enriched by having three such different voices and visions, and also six hands that we have been able to alternate over time. Since we are all working on so many things, that has made it possible for the project to remain alive.

Rogelio Gonzalez There is also the issue of motivation. When one loses there are always two others who are there to support you, and that keeps you going, so you don’t fall apart.

Cristina Drags But not only for this project, I think that in general, as this is a job that demands so much and is so sacrificial… I have done it alone in the past and I find it very hard, it is much more grateful to do it as a group, supported by your friends.

S. B. In the end people say: “This is very Little Spain.” And that has also evolved, because at the beginning what we did was like something neo-caste and retro, but we have expanded the range and spectrum of our voice. You can see that in the documentary, there are very diverse approaches and we have managed to make them all fit together.

This also applies to C. Tangana himself, who has always been perceived as a very strong individual. The film highlights the idea of ​​collective creation of the show, almost as if it were a theater company.

S. B. When we edited the documentary, one of the things we commented on the most was the transition of a character that is super contemporary now, very common in urban music and rap, in which all his musical creation revolved around the egotrip and oneself. And Pucho evolves from that place towards an end in which everything is community. That is your journey from The Madrid native. He had always delegated to a lot of people so that his project could potentially become something better, and I think in The Madrid native He already reaches a level where he realizes that the entire artistic project is above the character and the name that signs it.

R. G. One incredible thing that Pucho has is that he knows how to see in other people what they don’t even know how to see themselves. If he finds that something may be splendid and extraordinary, what he does is help you bring it out. He has greatly elevated all the people around him, he has been nourished by that and he has understood that this is his way of working. He also shares those achievements with all of us, which is very generous for both us and him.

Santos Bacana, Cristina Trenas and Rogelio González, members of the Little Spain collective and directors of ‘Esta ambition desmedida’, pose in their studio.Sharon Lopez

It gives the impression that you are following Pucho everywhere with the cameras, without thinking about the use you are going to give to those images. When did you realize that there was a documentary here?

C. T. There is a part recorded in Cuba that was more planned, there Santos had planned to do something more along the lines of docufiction. Then that project was interrupted, but we continued recording over time because Pucho is a quite interesting character, due to his creative process and his way of thinking, and we began to notice that there was something cyclical about these exploits in which he always embarks. . We continue to record certain moments, like when he is in the office and decides that he doesn’t want to go on the tour. Actually, that was the day the Grammy nominations were going to come out and we decided to capture his reaction, but we found something else.

S. B. Suddenly all of this accelerated when the tour was confirmed and other mechanisms had to be found to generate income. So everything we were doing is mixed with the idea of ​​going to record the concerts. Once we got into the editing room we didn’t leave there for five or six months and it was very arduous, we went back and forth a lot, we couldn’t find the story.

In the film you can see very private moments. It is clear that you are part of his closest core of trust and also that he is not afraid to expose himself in situations that many artists of his caliber would not want to show themselves.

S. B. A scriptwriter we are working with told us that the best and worst thing about the documentary is the closeness. The best because I think that, without it, you would not have been able to enter into conversations with the producer, with his mother, with Kigo… and the worst because sometimes you forget that you have to explain to people more than what you are showing. But it is true that no one questioned, for example, that we entered the office of his record company with cameras and recorded the conversations, because really everyone is used to the fact that Pucho’s team is always there with him as part of the project. And we were also very interested in his work and creative relationships, we all felt like there was something there, like that negotiation with the great artist in which you give him things and he offers you others in exchange. Also how personal relationships are degraded as a result of the labor exchange, which may or may not later be redeemed.

When did the tour go from being a bust to becoming profitable?

S. B. Pucho’s obsession is that he does not want to do the show if not at its maximum potential. However, from the numbers side, they are telling him that, to be profitable, he is going to have to do a lot of festivals, which was something he said no to. So he ends up giving in in order to recover money, and there the show It is already losing that magical aspect it had at the beginning. We show that in the film by placing him in Benidorm, where he goes to perform at the Boombastic festival, because it is a bit like the Las Vegas of Spain, this place where old stars come when they are trying to survive.

Antón Álvarez, that is, C. Tangana, at the premiere of the documentary ‘This excessive ambition’ in San Sebastián.Carlos Alvarez (Getty Images)

In the credits they present Antón Álvarez (his real name) as if he were an actor who plays the character of C.Tangana, but in reality he seems more like himself than he has ever been seen before.

S. B. To achieve that intimacy, it had to be at least noticeable that we were a film crew. We had to remain his friends, so we went in very small units. We filmed closely, we, or Pucho’s girlfriend, with iphones. All the technology was small, as inconspicuous as possible, so that everything seemed like normal everyday life.

How important has technology been in the development of the project?

S. B. When filming it is easy to get close to a lot of situations and not be an intruder. It has also helped us with audio, because we shot a lot of things on 16mm film, whose cameras don’t record sound, so we combined it with studio microphones.

R. G. In terms of filming it was also important to have your mobile phone in your hand while you are directing something else, to be able to communicate, send you all the frames…It was very useful when everyone was in different parts of the set doing different things, even being in different cities. You could record film camera quality with a device that fits in your pocket. And then, at the time of assembly, we had to pour 400 or 500 hours of material.

S. B. We set up a workspace with the most powerful computer that exists, which is a Mac Studio, we buy a server and two screens display to see the color tests. It is a process closer to filmmaking than what a traditional director does who goes to the editing room to see what they have done.

C. T. We have been learning along the way, because when we started recording more intuitively we used our personal hard drives. As for recording, I would emphasize how easy and comfortable the iPhone is. At the Anoeta Velodrome in San Sebastián, where the first projection was made on a gigantic screen, the shots recorded with the phone were seen with the same quality as what we had recorded with other technology.

Pucho says in several moments that this is the last thing he is going to do in music. Do you believe it?

S. B. I think he needed to let go of the burden of The Madrid native. This feeling that she has made a record so memorable and so relevant that, as an artist, she knows that it will be difficult for her to face the moment of thinking: “What do I do now?” Before her audience was kids, and now it’s the parents of those kids, some grandparents… There are much higher expectations, and that generates conflict. There are many moments when he thinks: “This was the the highest. The rest is going down.” I feel that the film marks the end of his connection with roots music, and this frees him to go to the studio and try other things. But, being so involved in Little Spain and having so much desire to make films, and being such a self-confident and hard-working person, I think it is more likely that I will make a film first. two than a disk.

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