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Carlos Saura's Flamenco Trilogy: Eclipse Series 6 (The Criterion Collection)

Antonio Gades , Laura del Sol , Carlos Saura    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD

Price: CDN$ 382.25
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  38 reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Saura/Gades' "Carmen" is the most sensual of all adaptations and truly Spanish Dec 5 2007
By Galina - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Passionate, dramatic, riveting as Flamenco itself, the film is simply amazing. It is set on the immortal Bizet's music. The original music is written and performed by one of the greatest classical guitarists, leading proponent of the Modern Flamenco style, Paco de Lucia who plays a musician with the same name. Legendary Flamenco dancer and choreographer Antonio Gades co/wrote the script and choreographed this fabulous version of the celebrated Georges Bizet/Prosper Mérimée novella/opera. He plays a main character Antonio, the famous dancer/choreographer who works on retelling the story of Carmen in the Flamenco style that combines dances with singing and rhythmic hand clapping and has a highly charged level of dynamics that appeals enormously to the viewers.

Brilliant and graceful Cristina Hoyos whose technical excellence matches the elegant artistry of her dancing shines in the supporting role. Hoyos had been the first dancer in Gades' company for twenty years (1968-1988) and she was the protagonist of three films that Carlos Saura made of Gades' three great shows: "Bodas de Sangre" (1978), "Carmen" (1983) and "El Amor Brujo" (1985). Gorgeous Laura del Sol is a young dancer named Carmen in whom Antony sees from the first sight another Carmen, who was immortalized by two Frenchmen, the writer Prosper Mérimée in his most famous novella written in 1846 that had inspired George Bizet's world famous Opéra-Comique version from 1875.

As in the opera and in the novella, Carmen in Saura's film is desirable and deadly, the ultimate femme fatale who has to be free above anything else. She could not tolerate the possessive love of any man and would prefer death to submission. There are some 50 movie adaptations of the story and the opera to the screen, and as different as they are, they all have in common the only possible tragic end. Saura/Gades' film is unique as the most sensual of all and truly Spanish. I fell in love with it from the first time I saw it over twenty years ago and it is as special and beautiful today as it was back then. Highly recommended.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Saura's Flamenco Trilogy Sept. 19 2007
By Lefty Mama - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Saura's Carmen is a magnificent movie. It is about a flamenco troupe who is rehearsing a dance version of Carmen. The director and the lead dancer begin to act out the Carmen story in their personal lives. The famous opera songs come alive in a new way when performed in the classical folk style of Spain, as if we are outside a real cigarette factory listening to gypsy women dancing and making music and rhythm with their bodies spinning. The dance scenes have a fierce intensity that completely absorbs your attention like no other movie I have seen.

Blood Wedding and El Amor Brujo are more straightforward showcases of the most famous flamenco dancers in Spain doing what they do best - good movies, but without the high drama of Merimee's story and Bizet's tunes, the dancers are simply professionals at the height of their careers.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally on dvd! Oct. 3 2007
By T. B. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I've been looking for these to come to dvd for years. It's a fascinating and thrilling trilogy. The series starts with Blood Wedding, in which a filmed dance rehearsal draws the viewer into a compelling story. Carmen is a blend of reality and fantasy in which elements of the flamenco production spill over into the dancer's lives (or is it vice versa??). El Amor Brujo is a fully realized musical production, set entirely on a soundstage with lush colors, much like a 50s Hollywood musical. It's an interesting progression to consider and each of the films fantastic on their own terms.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carlos Saura's Flamenco Trilogy-Genius in Motion Jan. 19 2008
By Mary A. Medlin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
If you love the flow of dance, this trilogy will delight you. I originally saw these three films when they came out. Since I speak Spanish and love the culture, I fell in love at first sight. The Spanish word "duende" refers to the state a flamenco dancer enters when the spirit of dance takes over. I would suppose we could compare it to being in the zone. These films are true to that spirit. There isn't a single false note. If you want to understand the Spanish culture, these films are the perfect way to learn what the essence of the culture is all about.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE FLAMINGO TRILOGY Nov. 10 2008
By Leslie Light - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Probably the greatest performances I have ever seen. The story and dancing is superb. Though flamingo is best seen live...these films are the next best thing. I saw Carmen 1st and loved it from the beginning. One cannot tell the difference from reality and performance. Blood Wedding reveals the quality and skill aquired over many long years to be able to dance as the troupe does. I have seen nothing to compare in my 62 years of life.
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