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Burried Mirror 1: Virgin & The Bull [Import]

Carlos Fuentes , Peter Newington    VHS Tape


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The Virgin and the Bull, part 1 of Carlos Fuentes's five-part series subtitled Reflections on Spain and the New World looks at two of the fundamental archetypes in Spanish culture: two archetypes that are at once sensual and poorly understood by outsiders. On the one hand, the Virgin Mary, a woman whose status in Spanish Catholicism and the hearts of the faithful approaches that of a deity, a woman born free of sin, the Mother of God, the ultimate model--however problematic--of womanhood itself. For Mary there have been immense cathedrals built, masterful frescoes plastered, wars waged. The sensual richness of the art in all media that has swirled about the devotion to her provides us a glimpse into the soul of Spanish culture itself; even those who might criticize this from within or without Spain must nonetheless know and experience the importance of the Virgin Mary. On the other hand, the matador, the bull fighter, and his opponent, the bull. We know of the importance of the bull in the art of Spanish masters like Picasso, yet to understand Spanish culture and Spanish identity and the reason why Picasso paints the bull is to see into another sensual side of Spanish life. This side is to many no less problematic than the devotion to Mary. Fuentes asks quite candidly, Where else can a man--in the culture of original machismo--dress in such flamboyant, tight-fitting clothing and strike such poses than in the bull ring? Fuentes explores the Virgin's and the bull's contradictions that somehow make them so similar, microcosmic contradictions that help explain Spain itself: the sexual and nonsexual, the male and the female, the pacifist and the violent, the eternal and the mortal.

This five-volume box set is impressive. At once a documentary, at once a philosophical-artistic treatise, this is not merely a historic voyage through the origins of modern Latin America. This is a contemporary journey into the soul and heart of Latin America--a soul that dwells and a heart that beats with increasing intensity in the culture, history, and identity of the United States as well. --Erik Macki

Product Description

Carlos Fuentes looks for his forebears in the mix of people that created Latin America: Spanish, Arab, Jewish, Indian, and African. He asks what is unique in their culture that is cause for celebration in the 500th anniversary year of Columbus. His quest takes him from the quayside at Vera Cruz "where the Mediterranean comes to an end in the Caribbean" back to Spain, to the dark caves of Altamira, the harsh sunlight of the bullring, and the stamping feet of the flamenco dancer.

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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
4.0 out of 5 stars Educative and charming May 26 2010
By L. Corral - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
Mr. Carlos Fuentes has indeed a lot of talents. Besides being one of the most prolific and published authors in the Spanish language, he is an excellent and I must say surprisingly entertaining program host. As far as I know this is the first of a series of 5 programs he made for the television and this is the VHS version. DVDs unfortunately haven't been produced yet. And that is one of the main problems with this release: the picture quality is not so good. The main theme and scope of the program though is very interesting because it describes in a very illuminating and entertaining fashion the relationship and history of the Spanish and Portuguese speaking peoples. This is no easy task, but Mr. Fuentes embraces it with an ease and charm that makes you feel engaged and interested. He travels with us to Europe and America and describes situations and events related to custom and history while they are actually happening. One wonders why Mr. Fuentes hasn't become an knowledge program leader in culture programs? The program was done for some time ago so it is a little bet outdated, specially when he shows us the impact of bullfighting in history. In my opinion he draws to much attention to an activity that in our times is dwindling badly. We have to admit that at least in Mexico and Spain this activity is becoming obsolete and is being irrefutably replaced by other activities like football.
I think this release is outstanding and I have tried to get hold on the other VHS in the series to no avail, For reasons out of my understanding, Amazon will not let us buy these for residents in Norway. So I must allow myself to have 2 wishes: 1. That the programs will be made in BlueRay versions and 2. That it will be possible to buy them in Europe. Then I would gladly keep buying and enjoying them.

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