Having taken on flamenco ("Sevillanas") and tango ("Tango"), Carlos Saura tackles a third great melancholy music style, directing "Fados," a celebration of Portugal's classic, lamenting acoustic folk songs. The film combines fado performances from top artists, dance from Portugal, Brazil and Cape Verde and archive footage. In the song centrepieces, artists deliver contemporary versions of fado classics. Lined up fadistas include young female star Mariza as well as Grammy award-winner Carlos do Carmo. Renowned diva Amália Rodrigues is remembered through arquive footage while the exploration of fado's influences and roots gives opportunities to embrace prestigious Brazilian performers Caetano Veloso, Chico Buarque and the emerging Cape Verdean star Lura.
I've been dreaming about this film. Despite i've seen this some months ago, i didn't comment on it before because i wanted to understand how it would fit in my imagination. And it has been moving my dreams in ways i had never experienced before. This is a milestone work, and i am marking it as a film one should necessarily watch in order to get maximum range of what moving images can give you.
I had experienced the musical genre according to Saura's vision. This one tops what he had done previously with Iberia and Flamenco. He topped everything he had done before in this area. The thing with this is: i'm not sure i watched cinema here. I watched a composition, which concerns music, plastic development of sets based on the feeling they cause, framing, camera movement and so on. So, Saura plays with the whole deck of cards. He plays with camera, sound and image/composition. He uses all the possibilities, and oh, he knows so well where he wants to go.
Probably, as a Portuguese i connect with this more specially. Fado is an work in progress, it is a form of expression that jumped out of the "neighbourhood". Amália Rodrigues tried to cross barriers, she looked for making Fado something more jazzy in the way it could play with more notes, breaking forms, and even breaking the idea of rigid forms. Ary dos Santos was her equivalent in what concerns lyrics (and he supported in this quest the upcoming Carlos do Carmo, who performs here). But when Amália started, she had fascism supporting "traditional" and fado had necessarily to play the cultural role of supporting the soul of the people, and the health of the empire. So she could never take the music to a whole new level, as it is being done in recent years.
Mariza shows now, well supported by the right people, and she took musically fado to a new artistic level. Fado is also music, Morelembaum told her. New musical developments are taking its way. And now we have this. Here the question becomes more universal and has to do with other "sports". Several parallel forms of expression, which intersect fado without being exactly fado. Over those expressions, Saura places flat colored surfaces, and he uses them at his will, to bring out the best all the numbers (dance or music) have to offer. So, he uses mirrors to multiply the area or to reflect movements he cares about, and he uses strong colors, usually to place faces against them. Here he can achieve in moments genius. I dream about that yellowed orange, i believe i cried a tear in my sit over that orange. The genius here comes when Saura is able to use all the media he has in order to bring out the value of music. He creates a new form of art, that may be beyond cinema, something between the happening and the installation, but oh much more interesting than any of these. Curiously, 2007 also gave us a film i consider essential, Caótica Ana by Medem, another spaniard, and in this film i commented on a specific scene which i considered to be something more than cinema, something which included the viewer. Very interesting, same year, same country. I believe the next step over this would be to place an architectural/spatial eye. That could come by studying the cinema architects (Welles, Tarkovsky, Antonioni...) and emulate them, or turning this into a physical real experience, but there, cinema is gone. I would prefer seeing this done the first way.
My opinion: 5/5 I felt i was watching to the construction of a new medium, of something never seen before. I enjoyed the sensation
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this