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
A young girl, after failing an exam, is forced by her father, a taxi-driver, to learn his profession. Soon she discovers that her father is not only a driver but also a member of a racist ... See full summary »
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,
Francisco Goya (1746-1828), deaf and ill, lives the last years of his life in voluntary exile in Bordeaux, a Liberal protesting the oppressive rule of Ferdinand VII. He's living with his ... 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 »
Camarón de la Isla
Set in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the film tells the story of director Mario Suarez's quest to make the ultimate tango film. Lonely after his wife (one of the film's stars) has left him, Mario must find the themes that will hold the film together, while simultaneously permitting his musicians and dancers the freedom of expression that is necessary to satisfy the tango-hungry Argentine audience. Things become complicated when Mario falls in love with Elena, a beautiful and talented young dancer who is the girlfriend of the powerful and dangerous Angelo Larroca, an investor in the picture. And Mario's creative vision is challenged by his investors when he plans a scene that recreates Argentina's dark years of political suppression and "disappearances".Written by
Martin Lewison <email@example.com>
I love this stuff. This film has weaknesses, but the ambition is so grand one can forgive, at least in deciding to watch.
The general problem is mixing film and dance. Rarely, oh so rarely is it done well. The stock choices are two: either film a dance more or less as an audience would see it, or to incorporate dance into the theatric presentation as a device. Either way, the audience is necessarily at a distance. And that's the problem: dance is human, to watch it (I'm talking about a performance here) you intimately participate in the space built and folded by the dancers. So by definition, most film/dance mixtures turn flat.
The solution here is to create an openly recursive storyline, mixing the dance as sometimes a filmed performance or rehearsal, sometimes "real" life, sometimes dreams or visions or imaginings. This combined with a never-rooted camera -- which sometimes plays the role of a character itself -- makes the audience part of the dance, and adds depth. The sets are designed to confuse: sloped floors, mirrors (used liberally) distortion, translucent screens and so on, further breaking the "performance" mold. On these terms alone, this is an intelligently conceived film.
I cannot say the same for the dancing proper. I think the film suffers from sticking too close to an Argentine palette, so the music and dance lacked breadth, and ultimately became repetitive. Whether the dancers were authentic, I cannot say. There certainly were exciting moments for me, but the dancing wasn't sufficiently vibrant to carry all of the scenes.
The Latin flavor was intriguing in the large: that the director would attempt such a self-referential conflation: national horror; angst of aging; layering of creation. Such a project would be considered outrageous in the US long before it is explored. And the Latin character was also interesting in the small: bigbottomed dancers and dumb, dependent women talking about how intelligent and independent they are.
Check this out. Not for the dance, but for a solution to filming dance.
8 of 15 people found this review helpful.
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