Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Eclipse Series 6 - Carlos Saura's Flamenco Trilogy |
Blood Wedding / Carmen / El Amor Brujo
Actors: Maria Campano, Giovana, Paco de Lucía, Enrique Ortega, Gómez de Jerez
Director: Carlos Saura
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Musicals & Performing Arts
One of Spanish cinema?s great auteurs, Carlos Saura brought international audiences closer to the art of his country?s dance than any other filmmaker, before or since. In his Flamenco Trilogy?Blood Wedding, Carmen, and El ... more »
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Viva Carlos Saura!
G. Merritt | Boulder, CO | 10/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've never seen a flamenco dance film I didn't like. Also known for Cria Cuervos (Criterion Collection), Spanish film director Carlos Saura (1932) brought his passion for flamenco ballet to an international audience through his famed "Flamenco Trilogy" of films: Blood Wedding, Carmen, and El amor brujo. All three films were choreographed by Antonio Gades, the famed Spanish flamenco dancer and Latin hearthrob who co-founded and became the artistic director of the Spanish National Ballet (Ballet Nacional de España).
The three films share a common themes of thwarted love and the death of at least one main character. Based on the play Blood Wedding by Federico García Lorca, Bodas de sangre (Blood Wedding) (1981) is the first part of the Saura's flamenco trilogy, followed by Carmen in 1983 and El amor brujo in 1986. This flamenco-ballet features Gades as Leonardo and Cristina Hoyos as the Bride who, on her wedding day, runs away with Leonardo, a married man. Disgraced, the Groom (Juan Antonio Jiménez) sets out to avenge his family name by killing Leonardo. The ballet ends with the Bride returning, her white dress covered in the blood of her lovers, and the Mother (Pilar Cárdenas) denouncing her as a whore. The film is suspenseful and flat-out stunning.
Carmen (1983) is a film adaptation of Georges Bizet's opera and the Prosper Mérimée novella. It is the second part of Saura's "flamenco trilogy" made before Bodas de sangre and followed by El amor brujo, and features Gades as Antonio, a possessive and jealous choreographer who becomes involved with his beautiful lead dancer Carmen (Laura del Sol). She is married, but her husband is in jail on drug charges. Soon the sexual politics of their affair become evident as Antonio demands fidelity, but Carmen longs for her freedom from both men. As the dancers incarnate their stage personas, Antonio permanently resolves the couple's differences through an act of violence. This is the best of the three films in this set, and it is easy to see why it brought Saura the international recognition he deserved.
Set in an Andalusian gypsy village, and based on a ballet composition by Manuel de Falla, El amor brujo (Love the Magician) (1986) is the final part of the Saura's flamenco trilogy he made after Bodas de sangre and Carmen. Over drinks one day, two fathers arrange the marriage of their children, José and Candela. When the children are grown, however, Carmelo (Gades) desires Candela (Cristina Hoyos) and the lovely Lucía (Laura del Sol) desires José (Jiménez). After Jose is killed in a knife fight (in a scene reminiscent of West Side Story), Candela is then haunted by his ghost, with whom she dances in the village moonlight as Carmelo watches on, entranced. A haunting love story with a nice touch of magical realism.
Saura makes Dancing with the Stars look like a game of musical chairs by comparison. Although Cristina Hoyos is arguably the more talented female dancer, Antonio Gades and Laura del Sol sizzle as flamenco dance partners in Carmen and El amor brujo, creating a truly sensual onscreen chemistry together. These films not only feature mesmerizing dance numbers, but the visually stunning cinematography of Teodoro Escamilla, and will appeal to anyone who enjoys films in the dance-on-film tradition of The Red Shoes and West Side Story.
Saura's Flamenco Trilogy
Lefty Mama | Seattle, WA USA | 09/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Saura's Carmen is a magnificent movie. It is about a flamenco troupe who is rehearsing a dance version of Carmen. The director and the lead dancer begin to act out the Carmen story in their personal lives. The famous opera songs come alive in a new way when performed in the classical folk style of Spain, as if we are outside a real cigarette factory listening to gypsy women dancing and making music and rhythm with their bodies spinning. The dance scenes have a fierce intensity that completely absorbs your attention like no other movie I have seen.
Blood Wedding and El Amor Brujo are more straightforward showcases of the most famous flamenco dancers in Spain doing what they do best - good movies, but without the high drama of Merimee's story and Bizet's tunes, the dancers are simply professionals at the height of their careers.
Saura/Gades' "Carmen" is the most sensual of all adaptations
Galina | Virginia, USA | 12/05/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Passionate, dramatic, riveting as Flamenco itself, the film is simply amazing. It is set on the immortal Bizet's music. The original music is written and performed by one of the greatest classical guitarists, leading proponent of the Modern Flamenco style, Paco de Lucia who plays a musician with the same name. Legendary Flamenco dancer and choreographer Antonio Gades co/wrote the script and choreographed this fabulous version of the celebrated Georges Bizet/Prosper Mérimée novella/opera. He plays a main character Antonio, the famous dancer/choreographer who works on retelling the story of Carmen in the Flamenco style that combines dances with singing and rhythmic hand clapping and has a highly charged level of dynamics that appeals enormously to the viewers.
Brilliant and graceful Cristina Hoyos whose technical excellence matches the elegant artistry of her dancing shines in the supporting role. Hoyos had been the first dancer in Gades' company for twenty years (1968-1988) and she was the protagonist of three films that Carlos Saura made of Gades' three great shows: "Bodas de Sangre" (1978), "Carmen" (1983) and "El Amor Brujo" (1985). Gorgeous Laura del Sol is a young dancer named Carmen in whom Antony sees from the first sight another Carmen, who was immortalized by two Frenchmen, the writer Prosper Mérimée in his most famous novella written in 1846 that had inspired George Bizet's world famous Opéra-Comique version from 1875.
As in the opera and in the novella, Carmen in Saura's film is desirable and deadly, the ultimate femme fatale who has to be free above anything else. She could not tolerate the possessive love of any man and would prefer death to submission. There are some 50 movie adaptations of the story and the opera to the screen, and as different as they are, they all have in common the only possible tragic end. Saura/Gades' film is unique as the most sensual of all and truly Spanish. I fell in love with it from the first time I saw it over twenty years ago and it is as special and beautiful today as it was back then. Highly recommended.
Finally on dvd!
T. B. | San Francisco | 10/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been looking for these to come to dvd for years. It's a fascinating and thrilling trilogy. The series starts with Blood Wedding, in which a filmed dance rehearsal draws the viewer into a compelling story. Carmen is a blend of reality and fantasy in which elements of the flamenco production spill over into the dancer's lives (or is it vice versa??). El Amor Brujo is a fully realized musical production, set entirely on a soundstage with lush colors, much like a 50s Hollywood musical. It's an interesting progression to consider and each of the films fantastic on their own terms."