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ramon ayala

Marcos López | 2013 | O.V. Spanish | S.T. English | Argentina | 66min | color

Synopsis :

For his first film, photographer Marcos Lopez — known for his supersized saturated colour portraits that merge the ordinary and the artificial — turned his finely tuned eyes and ears to the living soundtrack of the painter/songwriter/folk hero (and fellow Argentinian) Ramón Ayala. Ayala was born in Misiones, a cradle of Guarani civilization, deep in the country’s northeastern interior, a region of cultural diaspora and infinite mystery. He is a hugely influential figure for both devotees and protégés of his brand of ten-string guitar wizardry and imagistic balladry. You don’t need to be among the initiated or even slightly informed to be entranced by Ayala’s inordinately cuddly, engaging personality and sensibility, not to mention his effortless artistry. This is no insider/fanboy doc; although Lopez spent over four years on the jungle trail looking for Ayala’s influences and the Ayala-influenced, he wisely eschews focusing solely on singing his praises. Ramón Ayala the film (like the man) is on a mission to distill and source the sonic DNA that collectivizes the musical experience. We meet keepers of the folklore flame like the obsessed music lover/player whose act of preservation involves digitizing soon-to-be lost recorded classics and hawking them on Buenos Aires trains. — Madeleine Molyneaux