Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Flamenco Flamenco: Saura returns brilliantly to a favoured subject

A scene from “Flamenco, Flamenco”

Mongrel Media

3.5 out of 4 stars

Title
Flamenco, Flamenco
Directed by
Carlos Saura
Starring
Sara Baras, José Miguel Carmona and Montse Cortés
Genre
Documentary
Classification
G
Year
2010

When a good performance turns great, you hardly notice the transformation. Instead, you focus on the myriad details – the intricacies of a dancer's hand gestures, the deftness of a guitarist. You become caught up less in the genre's traditions or tropes and more in the endless possibilities and variations opening before you.

That's the case with Carlos Saura's new film, Flamenco Flamenco, which simply captures 21 brief, masterful flamenco performances. It is a sequel of sorts to his similar 1995 film Flamenco.

With famed cinematographer Vittorio Storaro (Apocalypse Now, The Last Emperor) behind the camera, Saura makes ingenious use of backdrops and scrims, each decorated as grand paintings and all framing the Flamenco dancers, singers, guitarists and other musicians who take the stage to reinterpret flamenco and all its sub-genres.

Story continues below advertisement

Rocio Molina dances a piece in a kind of gaucho style, with cigarette in mouth, as she gestures seductively while fast-clicking her heels.

Israel Galvan performs the most mesmerizing dance, a solo work with only his heels and finger snaps for accompaniment, as his body takes on a rapid succession of codified shapes. Deep in his performance is the feel of Spanish suavity and refinement.

Guitarists, meanwhile, amaze with rapid patterns up and down the fret board, while singers threaten to steal the show with Arab-tinged songs of lament and yearning. Estrella Morente is particularly commanding as she sings tangos and flips her mane of streaked back with aplomb.

These are simply incredible performances, captured stunningly on film.

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author

Guy Dixon is a feature writer for The Globe and Mail. More

Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.