I know, I know, I know. For two years, all I’ve ever raved about (and raved along to) is Luciano, Luciano, Luciano. Well, I can’t help it if he happens to be the host of this summer’s most fabulous beach party, regularly graces the decks at my favourite club nights or if he’s nominated for the techno DJ of the year award.
So when I received an invitation to the world premiere of La Ruta Del Sol, a film documenting Luciano’s recent South American tour, who was I to say no? Come rain, hail or shine, I would be there. And yes, there was rain…
Unfortunately, the storms Ibiza has been experiencing over the past week or so really did put a dampener on this particular event. Originally scheduled to screen on an open-air projector on the sands of the ultra-glam Ushuaia Beach Club, organisers had to revert to Plan B today when the downpour showed no signs of abating. Plan B? Move the screening to a neighboring hotel, The Palladium Palace, amidst package tour holidaymakers not sure of what to make of the über-cool techno set strutting through their resort style surroundings to get to the screening room.
The chilly weather meant guests were all rugged up, winter style – I’m talking scarves, hoodies, jeans and boots – but once you’d stepped the big room (and after a couple of complimentary Kir Royales), you could feel that things were really starting to heat up (and not just after the arrival of the man of the hour himself). Sushi and tapas were circling the room (on trays and carried by waiters of course) and as it neared 11pm, finally the socialising, schmoozing and boozing (honestly, it could have been the Cocoon terrace) finally came to an end and Miss W, the White-ettes and the Token White Male took our seats with anticipation.
It could have gone oh-so-horribly wrong, documenting the life of a DJ on tour. You know, ‘those’ hardships like lack of sleep, extensive travel, parties, loneliness, hours spent in airports. Not so in this case. Raphael Sibilla has filmed a funny, honest, intimate and endearing portrayal of a man who seems to take nothing for granted, enjoys his success and makes the most of the journey of self-discovery he is currently experiencing.
Surprisingly, there’s very little club footage – this is more dedicated to the surroundings (and why woudn’t you when you’re crossing the Andes, visiting Machu Picchu and traipsing across Buenos Aires?) and situations Luciano finds himself in. From hotel rooms to friend’s houses, trekking through the mountains to a Shaman’s house (surely the most rock star scene of the whole film) to frantically racing through airports to make flights on time, typical blokey toilet humour to touching moments of family longing, grumpy tired moodiness to euphoric party moments, La Ruta Del Sol breaks down into 52-minutes that span a three week tour in the form of a (mostly) self-narrated diary, switching effortlessly between French, Spanish and English, though the whole film is subtitled in English thankfully for Miss W!
I’m sure the festivities continued well on into the night, however for Miss W, getting back to her computer was imperative so she could be the first to bring you news of the film’s debut, foregoing after party pleasure all in the name of a good story!
THE GOOD: A standing ovation to the director and its star is in order indeed. Now I’m no film critic but I know what I like, and as a whole, I find dance music documentaries can be pretty disappointing, or not quite manage to convey the message in the right fashion but La Ruta Del Sol manages to give enough insight into the DJ and producer’s lifestyle to make it funny, interesting and above all, entertaining. If you’re a fan of Luciano or if you’ve ever wanted a behind the scenes look at a DJ on tour, make a point of watching this film. I loved it.
THE BAD: OK, I understand the world’s dance music press were eagerly awaiting this release, but whoever sent in the obtrusive cameraman who rudely filmed the audiences with a blinding flashlight WHILE WATCHING THE FILM needs to learn a little manners and respect. After all, it’s hard enough trying to concentrate on reading subtitles as it is… and who wants to watch footage of regular people watching a documentary anyway?
THE GOSSIP: It looks as though life’s been treating Luciano well over the past 12 months or so (or longer – since Miss W has been stalking him anyway) as he seems to have errr, filled out a little round the chops and the middle plus he’s wearing some fancy schmancy threads. Fair play to the man I say! There’s nothing worse than a skinny, pale, malnourished looking DJ behind the decks (are you reading this Berlin boys? You know who you are!) and if success brings you the good life, well, you probably deserve to enjoy it.