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Cruel Garden (1982)

TV Movie  -   -  Music  -  8 November 1984 (USA)
8.5
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 8 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 1 critic

The Poet lives, dies and is reborn through various symbolic scenarios, which draw on the imagery of Lorca's works, including the bull-ring, flamenco, and the world of Buster Keaton's silent films.

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Title: Cruel Garden (TV Movie 1982)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Bruce ...
The Poet
Yair Vardi ...
The Bull
Michael Ho ...
The Moon
John Chesworth ...
The Lizard
Nelson Fernandez ...
The Poet's Guardian Angel
Diane Walker ...
The Mother
Catherine Becque ...
Mourner
Rebecca Ham ...
Mourner
Quinny Sacks ...
Mourner
Lucy Burge ...
Café Dancer
Rosario Serrano ...
Café Proprietress
Stephen Ward ...
The Blues
Lucy Bethune ...
The American Lady
Sally Owen ...
The Nightingale
Michael Smee ...
Narrator
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The Poet lives, dies and is reborn through various symbolic scenarios, which draw on the imagery of Lorca's works, including the bull-ring, flamenco, and the world of Buster Keaton's silent films.

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8 November 1984 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

 
Stunning dance evocation of the life and work of Federico García Lorca
18 February 2007 | by (Glasgow, Scotland) – See all my reviews

'Cruel Garden' is one of the Ballet Rambert's classics, seen here in a television adaptation of its original production, choreographed by and starring Christopher Bruce. It has a beautiful, guitar-led score by Carlos Miranda.

It is based around the life and work of Federico García Lorca, the poet and dramatist martyred by fascists in 1936, at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. Rather than being a biographical dance-drama, it takes images from his works - including symbolic figures such as the Moon, the Bull, and the Nightingale - to weave a mythic image of the Poet continually sacrificed and reborn, an Orpheus figure. He appears as the Bullfighter in a scene inspired by the 'Llanto per Ignacio Sanchez Mejias' (a bullfighter fatally injured in the arena), even as Buster Keaton, in a silent-movie style sequence based on 'A Poet in New York'. There is also a flamenco-café sequence set to 'El Cafe de Chinitas', one of the folksongs which Lorca collected and arranged, which treats sensitively the Poet's homosexuality (a factor in his murder).

I hope that either the BBC or the Ballet Rambert will consider releasing this on DVD. It is an extraordinarily moving and beautiful work, which kindled my love for Lorca, and which I still remember vividly after 25 years.


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