Carlos Saura: The director who said flamenco was the best on screen

He has always said that in interviews I tried to be a dancerand since he was not able to achieve this, he became film director. The fact that since his first short film titled Flemish (From 1955) -, Aragonese director profession Carlos Saura Born in Huesca in 1932 and died on Friday, he has been associated with flamenco. “Maybe that’s why I made flamenco films: What I couldn’t dance, others did,” he said in an interview with RTVE. country in dance in 2021.

At first I approached him hand in hand with the mighty sponsor Antonio Gadis, with the triple blood wedding (1981), Carmen (1983) and Love’s Magician (1986). It was the first of the three, in ballet form, that captivated the director as a spectator and would lead him to propose this collaboration to Gades. The three films served the director to Move away from flamenco stereotypes The Franco dictatorship imposed it on him, treating it as a minor folkloric art and attempting in the same way as the dancer Jadis in his productions, to bring dance closer to the contemporary era and bring it closer to the level of other artistic disciplines. Fiction and documentaries. Carmenan adaptation of Bizet’s operas, also achieved great international success, and at the Cannes Film Festival It was selected for an Oscar.

I will return to this genre, but in a completely different way, formally and in content, with Sevilana (1991), which depicted him at the height of the genre’s boom, at a time when millions of records were sold and many flamenco artists approached him. He did not want to touch on this movie and its aftermath Flemish (1995) and Flamingo, flamingo (2010), as he did with Gades: he preferred to do it in a format closer to the documentary, But with the artists performing in the studio.

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All three titles offer a file A wide variety of trends coexisted at that time in their genre – in the case of Sevillanas too, from the Lebrija choraleras, those popularized by Lorca and la Argentinita, to the slow piano Sevillanas of Manuel Pareja Obregón, and of course different ways of dancing them too- and they also serve as a record of great artistic moments: a Guitar dialogue between Maestros, Paco de Lucia and Manolo SanlúcarLola Flores Dancing with a Pata de Cola, or A Island shrimp Sevillana sang in his last months of life that Manuela Carrasco danced for him, just to name a few.

With these tapes, Saura also manages to develop a Visual language is closely related to natural representation itself From music and dance, playing with lighting, movement of the camera, decoration of the sets to accompany the artists, but without depriving them of fame. He was also able to immortalize the flamenco of the moment in each bar, drawing on reference names from the 90s, in the case of flamenco, and from the 2000s, in the case of flamenco, flamenco, but always showing variety. .


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