'Cuatro Palabras' is a short film about a tango story that explores (and emphasizes) the emotional tension of a couple. It uses visual elements inspired from a previous stop motion animation experiment in which mannequins walked up the stairs and danced together. Similarly, the characters featured in this film also walked up the stairs (Sandy Urna featuring 'Sandra') and danced together (Sandra & Jorge Razumny, respectively).
This work demonstrated that stop motion animation can be used as prototyping tool and early stage materialization of the storyboard prior to shooting the film.
Although the original idea included a stop motion segment in which the shoes would be animated, dancing by theirselves on the street, I could not implemented it because the cold weather conditions on that Sunday afternoon prevented the actors to stay for extended periods of time outdoors. As an alternative I decided instead to keep the shoes on the street by theirselves, static on the concrete, exploiting the visuality of embedded dancing personalities on shoes without their bodies, waiting to be picked up.
Shoes standing on their own also produced a feeling of emptiness because even though they represent an iconic symbolism in tango, without their dancers they were nothing more than an object.
The spoken language of the film is Spanish because one of the actors came directly from Argentina and felt more comfortable performing on its own language, also the lyrics of the tango song selected for the piece was also in Spanish (like all tango songs from Argentina and Uruguay). It was also interesting to explore the idea of a short film on Tango spoken in Spanish but taking place in NYC, signaling a re-contextualization of 'Rio de la Plata' culture into an American city without loosing the essence of its original language.
The title of the film -'Cuatro Palabras'- and meaning 'Four Words' refers to the short texts spoken during the film:
# 'Sandra espera por favor' are four words meaning 'Sandra please wait' and are the opening words on the film spoken by Jorge without the association of visual images
## 'No te perdono mas' are four words meaning 'I no longer forgive you' and is the name of the Tango song played on the film
The starting point of the story assumes that something unpleasant or uncomfortable happened at a tango social event (afternoon milonga) that resulted in Sandra abruptly going home, with Jorge desperately trying to speak with her before she enters the building. The story does not specify what really happened that caused Sandra to come back crying, perhaps Jorge broke the code of conduct at the milonga and danced more than two or three tandas with a woman different from Sandra; or perhaps their already troubled relationship precipitated while dancing. The film clearly set the tone of Jorge asking for forgiveness and Sandra not giving in. The climax develops as Sandra through her shoes at Jorge at the entrance of her building, indicating that is the end of the relationship.
The situation resolves as Sandra picks up her shoes, looking towards the corner of the street where Jorge left after leaving his shoes next to hers on the ground. The tension shifted focus from the couple towards her decision of continuing alone in her tango journey as she picked up ONLY her shoes and not his. The decision was not without a memory component, as her remembered the good moments passed when dancing together, with tears on her eyes.
Sandy Urna as 'Sandra'
Jorge Razumny as 'Jorge'
'No te perdono mas' rendered by the orchestra of Alfredo de Angelis
Casa Argentina of New Jersey
Written, Produced and Directed by Martin Calvino