Spanish film director Carlos Saura’s first film venture featuring Latin dance was Bodas de sangre [Blood Wedding]. This film also marked his first of three collaborations with famed flamenco dancer/choreographer Antonio Gades. I highly recommend all three films. Each film combines narrative, dance and refined filmmaking in an effort to explore life, love and death from a Spanish perspective.
The duo’s second film Carmen is my favorite of the three. It’s the story of a choreographer staging a ballet adaptation of Bizet’s opera, Carmen. So, it’s back stage drama intermingled with on stage drama and lots of dancing. Gradually the lines of filmmaking, theater and ballet begin to blur as the characters real life narratives start to mimic the staged narrative. By the end of the film you are not quite sure if you’re watching a rehearsal, or something that was supposed to have really happened. The tobacco factory scene alone is worth the effort. It’s an intensely orchestrated all girl knife fight in dance – think Michael Jackson’s Beat It, done flamenco style.
Michelle Melancon, Bindery Specialist (Baking with Medusa at Blogspot)