Sexo Maracas, y Chihuahuas, screened as part of the Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival but was in actual fact in Glasgow’s GFT, an eyesore as it’s presently going through construction, is a fascinating insight into the narcissistic life and loves of Xavier Cugat. This documentary highlights his cheeky personality, as well as his perverse love for young, beautiful songstresses. With an arrogance about him, with this essence that he propelled the career of all these young girls he married as well as those of even Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. At one point in the film he mentioned that the first “talkie” was not even The Jazz Singer but in fact a film he himself was in.

Produced this year, this documentary is the third of filmmaker Diego Mas Trelles, who is based in Madrid, and this is one of relatively few screenings this year. Nostalgic, yet obstinate but with classic Spanish humour this documentary gives a vibrant account of the influential musician famed for his loves and dogs, but for also being The Rumba King. Combining archival footage of him at his peak, performing with his beaus, to that of him in his elder days, reflecting on those moments, before he passed away in 1990, there is a well-balanced feel to this documentary.

Not too dissimilar to a typical BBC 4 music talking head documentary, it is certainly accessible to follow, as it begins with him marrying at 18 to him in his elder days marrying the 18 year old child actress Abbe Lane. We follow his love life, and his career in this chronological style, with little in the way of judgement. Objectively allowing the audience to make up their mind about this gregarious singer, the film steps back enough from the mind of the man, or those of his wives.

Documenting Hugh Hefner before Hefner existed, Cugat’s glitzy persona and extensive list of useful personal contacts, which he uses conveniently for his showbiz life, this is classic American Hollywood history, history I was not aware of.

Glorifying the colourful, exotic life of the American entertainment industry, this is a nostalgic documentary, which highlights Cugat’s importance in making latin music widely accessible in the Western world. Humour is also injected into this film, significant with a character such as Xavier Cugat, as the film suggests there is an tongue-in-cheek facet to this musician.

An interesting film, which will pull any music enthusiast, using humour and nostalgia to depict a man who had his heart on his sleeve, marrying all he fell in love with, belles that he propelled into the world of showbiz and music. Lets hope this does get the distribution it deserves, perhaps seeing it on BBC 4.