Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: La Paquera de Jerez, Merche Esmeralda, Manolo Sanlúcar, Joaquín Cortés, Manuel Moneo
Director: Carlos Saura
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Special Interests, Educational
Enrique Torres | San Diegotitlan, Califas | 12/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Performance as art, flamenco as art and performance is what this film captures. Minimilist in tradional theatrical enticements this film captures the pure essence of the total flamenco experience. No fancy Hollywood set designs, extravagant staging is nil, this is pure art, the performances stand alone. At times the lighting only reveals a siloutte, never detracting from the pure essence. The film captures an indoor gitano gathering where all participants are involved, from just handclapping and chorus to center stage vocals and dance, all the gitanos interact and compliment one another. The beauty in this film comes from different angles, the authenticity, the various styles of flamenco, the emotions the artists emote and the feelings that are brought out in the viewer. So many different people perform that it is hard to identify indidviduals, which may be just the intent of the director as the cohesion of the gitano family in performance seems to be most important. One of the intriguing aspects of this performance is that there are so many "older" performers, who dominate and captivate the viewer. If one listens and closes ones eyes momentarily, it is hard to imagine one is listening to people well into their sixties and older. A brilliant moment is when a young gitano of maybe twelve years of age performs a stunning dance, a visually blazing with speed dervish solo and then is suddenly joined by an elder gitano who accompanies him. The juxtaposition is unforgetable as the young boy and elder each pay homage to each other, in unison, dancing off the set. The guitar work is fabulous by various masters including a sensational set by Paco de Lucia and even the modern interpretations of flamenco by Ketama. The rich vocals are guttural at times but the emotions of the sounds come from the deepest parts of the soul. The sounds of pain and passion, love and desire, grief and hope, solice and community, the soul of the gitanos comes through loud and clear. This is one to not be missed for complete flamenco that includes guitar, dance and vocals, Andalusian nights are calling, los gitanos te esperan."
All the power, passion and artistry of contemporary flamenco
Enrique Torres | 03/24/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is THE flamenco film. Carlos Saura, famous for his work with the great Antonio Gades ("Blood Wedding," "Carmen" and "El Amor Brujo") and for his portrait of Andalusian folklore in "Sevillanas," creates one of the best flamenco films ever made. The focus in this work is on the performers and their performances. Sets are minimal and there is no "story" except that generated by the lyrics of the flamenco songs themselves. The director is careful to capture not only the larger aspects of the performances but also to zero in on the emotional engagement of the performers with their art . Flamenco is as much about the performer's struggles with the art and the emotions that underpin it as it is about a stage presentation. This is an intimate film despite the fact that it was shot in a train station. The sets, lighting and camera work continually direct your focus to that intimate space created by the performers. The conceit of the film is a journey not only through flamenco's different styles as embodied by some of the art's greatest contemporary performers, but also a journey into the night. Not only is the night evoked through lighting effects, but the deep inner recesses of the soul are suggested as well, that inner wellspring from which flamenco itself arises.This is the most profound exploration of flamenco ever captured on film. To understand flamenco, there is no better place to start than with Carlos Saura's masterpiece, "Flamenco.""
Another flamenco masterpiece from Saura
classicmoviefan | Rancho Mirage, CA | 03/12/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I dare you to find a better documentarian on the art of flamenco than Saura. Simply bringing this obsure but masterful artform to video is magical enough, but to have Saura do it is miraculous. He has chosen from the best that could be gathered in Spain, and did an awesome job putting them on a 2 hour tape. They only criticism is that this is not available on DVD, but no matter, it is a MUST for anyone who is a true flamenco purist or musicologist. The piece is beautifully staged, perfectly photographed and ingeniously edited."
Genial direction and cinematography; excellent flamenco.
classicmoviefan | 09/15/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"C. Saura captivates the existential essence of flamenco in this elegant film, which is a chronology of the hours starting at sunset and ending at dawn; where each episodes is told within a flamenco capsule. This film is not a documentary, nor is it the live footage of a flamenco troop's performance, rather it contains a series of complete pieces, each of which are perfect. The film contains three soleares, three bulerias, two tangos, one seguiriya, one fandango, and a handful of other styles. This film is the wisdom of Saura, showing again, that films are not meant to be uni-dimensional accounts of a curious story, or an obvious documentary. The film is from the heart full of the love and sincerity of those who participated in it, containing the most intimate and dignified performances of each of the living geniuses of the Flamenco industry. Each artist freely reaches and evokes their most cherished aesthetics. This is very important because flamenco is just about that, not about fooling the audience. The distractions of the common footage are removed as Storraro (the cameraman) gives himself up, flying around the performers seizing the impossible: moving to the compas of the performers, showing all the angles of the true flamenco expression."