Tangos, the Exile of Gardel (1985)
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The anguish of exile, trying to show all the melancholy charged with irony and good humor. As a Discépolo's tango.
Marvelous, oneiric. A way to learn more about this kind of music that is famous around the world as "the dance of passion", but showed in its pure essence, with three of its' men, Gardel, Discépolo and Piazzolla.
I call this folding.
I came to this because I knew it had this quality. And that it had something else that fascinates me: dance. Filmed dance is one of the most intriguing problems for a filmmaker and rewarding for a viewer. I love it when it works.
Also, I discovered on viewing that it plays with a related notion: that you cannot really see something that you are part of. You have to be in a fold, removed a bit. And it has yet another notion that compels. Sex as movement, as choreographed caress between two people who have poise that comes from wisdom through grace or pain, usually a mix. Its not a typical Hispanic idea, and is unique to Argentina, a philosophy of embodiment that corresponds in a way to fine acting. This alone, this one idea alone can melt the cauterized heart, and when experienced in life or remembered in art is transforming.
Yes, this film has all these ideas in it. Probably, the filmmaker is one of those wonderful people to know, full of ideas that spill out in ways that don't matter. Any intelligent, or fully felt conversation on any of these ideas will be more valuable than this movie. In fact, that is yet another idea here, that real touch has no substitute. None at all.
Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
Let me explain.
The street toughs of Paris, once named for the famous Arizona Indian tribe, the Apache (commonly called ah-Patch-ee) were know as the Apache (pronounced ah-Pash) The dance, known as the Apache was a ballroom curiosity based on a theatrical dance in which, in the standard form, the woman plays the role of the prostitute unwilling to share her wages with her pimp who then proceeds to beat her up in a graceful and, no doubt, elevated artistic manner. This lead to the death of some dancers.
This is the basis of several of the dances in this film. One wonders why, in the early part of the twenty first century one should anticipate being entertained by the artful beating of exploited women, even when that abuse is meted out to the graceful strains of the Argentinian Tango on the streets of Paris, France.
One may argue, of course, that this is a product of a different cultural place and time and that it might be inappropriate to be judgmental about the customs of far away places like Paris and Buenos Aires. According to this point of view the Apache is a cultural artifact, like slavery or cock fighting, to be admired as pure art. If that is true then perhaps the advocates would like to recast the Apache into a less obnoxiously offensive form, such as the passionate rivalry of a young mother and her confessor, or something of the sort.
I understand that the Apache is almost entirely forgotten outside of France and Argentina although it has recently popped up in Moulin Rouge, in Tango, a film by Carlos Saura, and in various music videos. I had some correspondence on this point when a remarkably Apache like video was produced for a song by the Italian singer Elisa Toffoli which appeared to have her being beaten up by her boy friend.
In the present time the abuse of women is largely confined to some rap videos and similar creations, such as "Slap my Bith Up" by, if memory serves correctly, Underworld.
Is it not time to consign this sort of thing to the mists of history?