Tangos, the Exile of Gardel (1985) Poster

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One of the greatest films I've seen
vkorovkin13 August 2001
Already from the opening scene of tango dance on a Paris bridge one can understand that this is an outstanding film. Pain, sorrow, laugh, sex, solitude, nostalgia, music - all about the exiliados' life in Paris. And if you know a bit of Spanish the lyrics of the songs will stay long with you.
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10/10
virtually unknown masterpiece
arnis1220 March 2002
I saw a print of this film in a Latin American class a few years ago and was blown away." Who was the director?" was my question. It combined elements of Godard, Bertulucci, and the American musical. The images are as stunning as any by Vittorio Storraro and the story is ultimately uplifting and hopeful as it details the lives of Argentine exiles trying to survive and move on with their lives while in exile in Paris. Brilliant , but virtually unavailable in the states. This film needs to be discovered by film lovers and lovers of the tango.
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10/10
Pure Tango. Pure Cinema.
mikatzin9 October 2003
Solanas made a wonderful piece of art, not just a movie, but a theater play and a tango as well.

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.
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Wallflowers
tedg4 July 2007
Being a branch on the Spanish film-making tree, Argentines have no problem with the idea of blending a show within a movie, to the world of the movie itself, and then to the world outside the movie in which the viewer lives.

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.
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What an inspiring film!
culebrito-126 October 2002
I found a video version of this exquisite Tanguedia (tango + tragedia) in the Avery Fisher Center of the NYU Bobst Library. Looking for insights into the life of Carlos Gardel, I found something infinitely more powerful. An entertaining, heartbreaking film that brought me a greater appreciation of my love of tango and the sadness of exile. The film tells the story of Argentinian exiles in Paris. People of artistic talent and temperament who come together to create a stage musical about the tangos of Gardel's exile. The fact that Gardel was never (historically) exiled from Argentina adds a little subversive mystery to the film. If I could find a print of the film I could probably provide a more detailed review. I guess this film is doomed to join "Love me Tonight" and countless other amazing works of musical film, spending eternity eluding the eyes of the viewing public, collecting dust in film monasteries. ¡Qué tanguedia!
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Utterly Forgettable Diatribe
235SCOPE23 November 2001
Impossibly boring, self-indulgent, presumptuous Argentine film "a-la-francaise". The characters are poorly developed, the situations are artificially written, and the movie goes nowhere. Hard to believe anyone could care about this except the director. This is one to miss at all cost.
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1/10
Tango related but obnoxious
laojim20 April 2010
The look and the sound of this film are quite good and the dancing is excellent. I have, however, a serious reservation about this film related to the culturally outdated elements in that it is not focused so much on Tango per se, but on Apache, a dance once popular in Paris ballrooms but which was more or less banned after some women were, it is said, killed in the process of dancing.

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?
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