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Short film: Tanghi Argentini

Scene from Tanghi Argentini

Once in a while, something worthwhile can be seen on television. Yesterday, Canvas not only aired the quirky love story “Steve + Sky“, but  also several pretty good short films. In my opinion, it’s something they should do more often.  Even though shorts are perfect for the internet, they are not always easy to track down.

Passion

One short I did manage to find on the net was actually the Oscar nominated “Tanghi Argentini” (subtitles). It is not the first tango short film I’ve mentioned here, but I guess it’s a subject that lends itself well to telling short passionate stories.

In Tanghi Argentini, an office clerk, after having landed himself a date with a woman he met on the internet,  finds he has only two weeks to learn the tango if he want to make an impression on her. Having never danced before, he enlists the help of one of his colleagues to help him learn the dance of passion. The big question is: will he be able to convince his date he has been a Tango dancer all his life? As with all good shorts, it ends with a twist. So watch it here.

Learning the Tango

While two weeks is indeed very short to master this dance, this is in many ways how it was taught 19th century.  Only, it usually took a bit longer than just two fortnights. Before a young boy could actually step on the dance floor and impress the ladies, he would first have to find a more experienced male dancer to teach him. First he would have to watch and observe the more skilled dancers, than learn how to follow (the woman’s part), and only when he got that down could he be taught to lead. Once he got all that down, a process that could take up to three years, would he now be able to dance with an actual real woman.

screenshot from the altruists

You can choose your friends.

Of one of the other shorts shown yesterday, “De Onbaatzuchtigen” (The Altruists / no subtitles), I was only able to find a fragment. You might have heard of the phrase: “You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family”. Well, in this short film, you can. As a matter of fact, every member of the family can be sold or bought as long as the rest of the family agrees. Though never explicitly mentioned, in this society, prestige and wealth is exhibited by the size of a family unit and the qualities of each member. Showing off to the other families is done by the daily walks on the street with the entire family together.

A member of one family, who like the rest, constantly lives in fear that the others will tire of him and sell him off, decides to play his cards in such a way, that only he is left. After realizing he is now alone, he gets himself a dog for companionship. Someone he can trust won’t sell him off if they ever disagree.

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