As a hall fills with performers, a narrator says that flamenco came from Andalucia, a mix of Greek psalms, Mozarabic dirges, Castillian ballads, Jewish laments, Gregorian chants, African ... See full summary »
La Paquera de Jerez,
Mehrollah is a 14-year-old boy who is forced to find a job to support his family after his father dies. He travels to the southern parts of Iran, looking for work. Upon his return to his hometown, he notices certain changes in his family.
A group of flamenco dancers are rehearsing a very spanish version of the Prosper Merimee's drama. Antonio (the coreographer) falls in love with Carmen (the main dancer). Their story then ... See full summary »
Laura del Sol,
Paco de Lucía
Francois is a young carpenter married with Therese. They have two little children. All goes well, life is beautiful, the sun shines and the birds sing. One day, Francois meets Emilie, they ... See full summary »
Toledo in the 30s: The godfather of cinematic surrealism, Luis Buñuel, the poet Federico Garcia Loca and the painter Salvador Dalí are on a search for the mythical table of King Salomon, ... See full summary »
El Gran Wyoming,
Filmed like a documentary, "Sevillanas" consists of eleven short performances by Spain's most famous flamenco dancers, singers and guitarists. Saura, well-known for his flamenco films ("... See full summary »
Paco de Lucía
It doesn't really matter whether you already love Fado music or not. This film will make a believer out of you.
I attended the world premiere on the 6th of September at the Toronto Film Festival (actually it was the first film shown at the festival this year) and I can tell you that the audience was in tears at the beauty of the performances alone, with applause after every number.
The film has no plot, only a brief title slide to explain the history of Fado music. Fado is a Portuguese vocal genre that has endured for the last 150 years. After that introduction, though, Saura just lets the music do the talking. The film is composed of performances by the top Fado artists from Portugal (Mariza, Carlos do Carmo...) as well as artists from Brazil, Cabo Verde, Spain, and Mexico (Lila Downs!).
This is no concert movie. Instead, each of the numbers is uniquely performed as a set piece often with a dance accompaniment. But true to form, it's the vocals more than anything which go straight to the heart as they tell tales of sadness and longing, of memories, losses and triumphs.
Interesting that a movie so devoted to the form should be directed by a Spaniard, Carlos Saura, but his filmography shows unequivocally his love of music and dance and his skill in bringing it to the screen. At the premiere, he spoke of the last day of shooting - it was shot entirely in Madrid - and how the cast and crew - half Portuguese, and half Spanish - was crying because they were sad it was over. I felt the same way at the end of the film and can't wait to see it again.
20 of 22 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?