Aaron Naar, 2014
Japan/Cuba/USA | English and Spanish with English subtitles | Format: DCP | 88 minutes
Q&A with filmmaker Aaron Naar
Matthew Stoneman grew up in New Hampshire dreaming of fame as a pop star but instead ended up in jail. There, he learned Spanish and mariachi standards. Writing his own original songs, he has since become something of a star as the “Gringo Mariachi.” Over the course of four years, director Aaron Naar followed Matthew, now called Mateo, at his home in L.A. and on his frequent trips to Cuba. There is nothing predictable about Mateo, his reddish-blond hair and chinos, his attraction to Cuban women, and his complicated relationship with his family, yet he doesn’t seem to mind opening up about his life to the camera. And while Mateo is not a completely sympathetic character, he is a talented, driven musician who gets up everyday and goes after what he wants.