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Blood Wedding (1981)

Bodas de sangre (original title)
Not Rated | | Music | 9 March 1981 (Spain)
Group of dancers put Lorca's 'Blood Wedding' on stage, the tragic play about a married man who is still in love with his ex girlfriend, and tries to get back to her despite her planned wedding.

Director:

Carlos Saura

Writers:

Antonio Gades, Federico García Lorca (play) (as Federico Garcia Lorca) | 2 more credits »
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4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Antonio Gades ... Leonardo
Cristina Hoyos ... La Novia
Juan Antonio Jiménez Juan Antonio Jiménez ... El Novio (as Juan Antonio Jimenez)
Carmen Villena Carmen Villena ... La Mujer
Pilar Cárdenas Pilar Cárdenas ... La Madre
El Güito El Güito ... Cuerpo de Baile
Lario Díaz Lario Díaz ... Cuerpo de Baile
Enrique Esteve Enrique Esteve ... Cuerpo de Baile
Elvira Andrés Elvira Andrés ... Cuerpo de Baile
Azucena Flores Azucena Flores ... Cuerpo de Baile
Cristina Gombau Cristina Gombau ... Cuerpo de Baile
Marisa Neila Marisa Neila ... Cuerpo de Baile
Antonio Quintana Antonio Quintana ... Cuerpo de Baile
Quico Franco Quico Franco ... Cuerpo de Baile
Candy Román Candy Román ... Cuerpo de Baile (as Candy Roman)
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Storyline

Group of dancers put Lorca's 'Blood Wedding' on stage, the tragic play about a married man who is still in love with his ex girlfriend, and tries to get back to her despite her planned wedding.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dance | flamenco | based on play | See All (3) »

Genres:

Music

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Spain | France

Language:

Spanish

Release Date:

9 March 1981 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Blood Wedding See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Emiliano Piedra See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1968 it was announced that Anthony Quinn would star and direct this for MGM. See more »

Goofs

At the 23 minute mark, a very large, directional boom-microphone enters the upper left portion of the screen, lingers noticeably and then is removed. See more »

Connections

Version of Blood Wedding (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

Ay, mi sombrero
Performed by Pepe Blanco
See more »

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User Reviews

 
How do you make a combination of Lorca and flamenco dull? Get Carlos Saura to direct it.
24 August 1999 | by alice liddellSee all my reviews

I had found Saura's last film, TANGO, trite and insulting, but I decided to give him another chance, in deference to his reputation. I needn't have bothered. Whatever his talent as a chronicler of character under oppression, he has no ability to film dance. He has no faith in dance's own expressive tropes, so he must impose meaning on them. He films in a flat, leaden style, which never allows the dance to come to life.

Like TANGO, Saura foregrounds a self-reflexivity on the film. This time, however, it is used relatively intelligently. There is a pretence of documentary as we watch 'famed' choreographer Antonio Gades prepare for his flamenco adaptation of Lorca's Blood Wedding. We see the preparations of the dancers, the (tedious) warm ups, the donning of costumes.

None of this is gratuitous (although the lingering on the undressing female dancers might be), and is infinitely preferable to the fictional ponderings of TANGO. The opening credits roll over a sepia photograph of the cast, mimicking the period in which the play was set. Lorca was, of course, a famous leftist, murdered by Fascists in the Civil War, and this is a film, made only a few years after Franco's death, that attempts to come to terms with Spanish history. The lengthy process of rehearsal emphasises the process of becoming, suggesting that history is not the monolithic entity the Right would like it to be, but a fluid interpretive searching, grasping, for the truth. The repeated gazing into mirrors links this national quest with an examination of the self. And yet Old Spain is not so quickly vanquished - one dancer hangs religious pictures on her mirror.

So, the dance is made to carry a lot of baggage. We are not given the actual performance, but a dress rehearsal, continuing the idea of becoming, as if to offer a fixed definitive version would be to concede to the enemy. This austere restriction to one bare space, without sets, without any help from Saura, means that the dancing has to be spectacular for the film to succeed. It is not, being rather conservative, and blindingly obvious and literal, the dance equivalent of dialogue sung in a Lloyd-Webber musical. Every gesture is laboriously spelt out; the viewer is credited with no intelligence.

It is totally inadequate to the play's politics, and the pared down approach means we lose its febrile, exhilirating excess. The critique of machismo and the death wish, applied to Spanish culture as a whole, is still there, but the climactic stand-off, while comparitively inventive, is more silly than cathartic, like Cavalliera Rusticana with the sound down. It is odd that a film so critical of the macho ethic should be so...macho.

As with TANGO, any effect the film has lies in the music, which, especially in the mariachi wedding sequence, provides the drama and beauty absent from the filming itself.


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