Carlos Saura's "Flamenco Flamenco" Masterpiece—in LA but Not for Long

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Carlos Saura is a renowned Spanish filmmaker hailed for his documentaries celebrating the performing arts traditions along the Iberian peninsula. Spanning his prolific 60-year career, Saura has received countless honors directing such works as Tango (1998), Fados (2007), and Flamenco (1995), just to name a few. Perhaps his greatest film of all, Flamenco Flamenco, a sequel to its Flamenco predecessor, had its original debut back in 2010, but is re-screening for a limited time here in Los Angeles.

Saura first came to my attention in the early 1980s with his captivating flamenco adaptation of George Bizet’s famous opera, Carmen. He and the stars of that film, dancers Antonio Gades and Laura del Sol (photo below), came by the old KCRW studios to discuss the film when it was first released.

Shot by Oscar-winning cinematographer Vittorio Storaro (Apocalypse Now, The Last Emperor, and Reds), Flamenco Flamenco is a visually stunning montage of 21 separate studies of the art form shot at various times throughout the day/night, featuring gorgeous sets, top musicians (with appearances by the late Paco de Lucía and Montse Cortés) and dancers. To capture the full theatrical effect, this film is an absolute must-see on the big screen.

Flamenco Flamenco is currently screening at the Laemmle Playhouse 7 in Pasadena and the Music Hall 3 on Wilshire through December 18, so if you have time and love the fiery passion and intensity of flamenco, you should definitely catch this before it leaves LA! For those of you flamenco aficionados who want the DVD to add to your collections, it’s available, though expensive and difficult to track down.

Click here for Laemmle showtimes. You can also read a recent review by the LATimes

Tom with  Carlos Saura
(L–R) Tom and flamenco dancers Laura del Sol and Antonio Gades at the old KCRW studios in 1983. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)
Flamenco Flamenco by director Carlos Saura and cinematographer Vittorio Storaro.

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