“Mosaico criollo” is not exactly a spoken film: it is a series of filmed musical sketches of several popular genres in four scenes, each one with a description. Joaquina Carreras sings folk song “Triste está mi rancho”, then Giménez and Suárez (“genuine northern dancers”) dive into an enthusiastic folk tap dance. After them, Julio Perceval (“delight of Buenos Aires citizens’ ears”) executes a piano solo, and “graceful interpreter” Anita Palmero sings the tango “Botarate”, by Acuña and De Cicco.
The sketches were recorded by a system of synchronized records - analogous to the Warner Bros. Vitaphone - developed in Argentina by Alfredo Murúa, who some years before had invented a magnetic microphone to record in phonographic records. This invention produced an enormous quantity of royalties and allowed Murúa to form his own company, S.I.D.E.
In 1929, after the premiere of the first American and European talkies, S.I.D.E. started working with production company Ariel (founded by Roberto Guidi) and planning the production of a series of short films with sound to be showcased in cinemas as a side attraction. The series was titled “Variedades sonoras Ariel – Fonografía de S.I.D.E.” and related both brands. “Mosaico Criollo” is the first one. Another short film survived, containing the picaresque song “Doña Rosario” (by Barbieri and Rial) and a segment called “El adiós del Unitario”, with Nedda Francy and Miguel Faust Rocha, directed by Edmo Cominetti, which was -indeed- the first spoken scene of Argentinian cinema.
There might be other short films, which could explain some of the contradictions found regarding these materials in the press of the time. Both short films were rescued in 1999 and restored by Juan José Stagnaro, thanks to the efforts of APROCINAIN. (Fernando Martín Peña)