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Miguel Paulino Tato, a spicy character in national cinema

He was a ruthless film critic and authority of a national body. For his arrogant and arbitrary performance, Sui Generis dedicated a song to him in 1974.

Miguel Paulino Tato

Miguel Paulino Tato, known as “Néstor”, was a journalist and  film critic, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1902. She worked as a canillita until she entered the “Last Hour” newspaper. He was followed by editorial Haynes magazines such as “El Hogar” and “Mundo Argentino”.

In 1930 he founded the magazine “Saturday” which allowed him to travel to Hollywood, where he made contact with Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Douglas Fairbanks and others. He also served as a teacher of calligraphy, history and Spanish. He wrote in the magazine “Rico Tipo” film reviews of a racist character. In 1952, he produced and directed the film “Facundo, el Tigre de los llanos”.

Tato was at the head of the “Film Qualification Body”, a dark body of the Ministry of the Interior created in 1968, with the authority to cut scenes and eliminate entire films, being the main censor of the  Argentine history , between August 1974 and the end of 1980. It is worth mentioning the song dedicated to him by the ensemble “Sui Generis” entitled “Las Incredibles Aventuras del Señor Tijeras”, written by Charly Garcia in 1974.

His film reviews provoked the anger of distributors and journalistic companies. He imposed his ideas with premeditated prepotence, playing with the panic of his interlocutor. Yesterday's friends, Leopoldo Torre Nilsson, Beatriz Guido, Mario Soffici, Lautaro Murúa, Armando Bo, became their victims. Fervent anti-American and anti-communist, he had to endure the establishment in Cuba of his daughter, an active communist activist.

The lack of respect for intellectual property was manifested by modifying the end of the films he wanted, forcing the filming of a new ending. He used a very special criterion because he said, “I don't censor, I keep people from being deceived.” The courts seriously injured the work and its narrative coherence. It censored what seemed morally offensive, slightly erotic or politically suspicious. The  films  were therefore often incomprehensible. Film censorship was abolished by Manuel Antin in 1983, entrusting Jorge Miguel Couselo to dismantle the nefarious system, creating commissions for the protection of minors. Miguel Paulino Tato, who died in April 1986 more than just a dog, became the most hated man in Argentine cinema in that Argentina yesterday.

Source: Andrea Dominique Galeano Prohibited Cinema: Dictatorship and Censorship in Argentina. 31-10-2015.

Miguel Tato, that amazing Mr. Scissors. La Nación, 28-02-1999

The 70'. The magic stories of the “lord” of the scissors.

Luciano Monteagudo. Forbidden to ban in democracy. Page 12

Publication Date: 06/10/2020

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