Carlos Sauras' "Flamenco, Flamenco"

By Moira Sullivan
Flamenco, Flamenco 
Opening Dec 26 at Landmark Opera Plaza is a rare film by the Spanish Veteran filmmaker Carlos Saura called “FLAMENCO FLAMENCO”. At the screening  Nina Menendez, artistic director of the 10th Annual Bay Area Flamenco Festival , will introduce the films.Saura made the Flamenco Trilogy of the 1980s (Blood Wedding, Carmen,a nd  El Amor Brujo). This 1995 film is in the documentary format and filmed by cinematographer Vittorio Storaro who has worked on many films such as Last Emperor and Apocalypse Now. I was struck by the performers –musicians and dancers and the extraordinary professionalism of ensemble as filmed by Storaro.

For the uninitiated, this is an excellent introduction to the art form of flamenco.

Saura filmed at the Seville Expo ’92 Spanish pavilion commemorating the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the Americas by Christopher Columbus (1492-1992).

Paintings by artists such as Goya, and Picasso and Klimt serve as backdrops to famous flamenco dancers and musicians - singer Rocio Molina, dancer and choreographer Israel Galvan, dancer Sara Baras, singer Estrella Morente, and guitarist Paco de Lucia who together show us the evolution of flamenco. All elements of this folklore art from Andalusia include the traditional palo or cante (singing), toque (guitar playing), the proud baile (dance) and the body percussion of the palmas (handclaps).

Each dance, each song is highly stylized and the composition of the frame is superbly blended by Saura. There are several memorable performances of the dancers on a black shiny dance floor where the sound of the acoustic guitar is louder than the dance and handclaps.

The screenings at Opera Plaza with the right acoustics and screening opportunities should take you into a world that is handcrafted to deliver the ultimate experience in flamenco and a journey into another world.

© 2014- Moira Sullivan- Air Date: 12/24/14
Movie Magazine International