Lights, camera, action: 5 Flamenco films that will blow your mind
The best flamenco cinema has protagonists such as Antonio Canales, Carmen Amaya or Antonio Gades.
Many flamenco lovers are thrilled to see directors such as Quentin Tarantino or Guillermo del Toro use flamenco to enhance the feeling of their scenes. Seeing Lole y Manuel in Kill Bill or Ava Gardner doing flamenco steps spurs our pride. We also get excited when renowned Spanish directors, such as Pedro Almodóvar, export flamenco to the screens of almost the entire world.
However, today we want to talk about films with flamenco DNA. Made precisely to pay homage to its culture and roots, often related to the gypsy people. In them, flamenco is expressed in different ways: as a feeling, as a way of life, as a social coagulant or as a liberating phenomenon. But it is always the protagonist.
Here are our 5 recommendations of flamenco films you can't miss.
Lights, camera... action!
Some of the sequences of this film have accumulated millions of views on the Internet. And no wonder, since it has won the César Award for best soundtrack.
Starring the flamenco dancer Antonio Canales, it embodies the drama of a gypsy man who has to take care of his brother's estranged son, who has disappeared in the face of death threats from another gypsy family. Although during the film there are flamenco parties, alcohol and tender family scenes, the tension of revenge hangs over the atmosphere.
Directed by Tony Gatlif and co-written with David Trueba, this is a film that, if you love flamenco, will steal your heart.
Snow White (2012)
Winner of 10 Goya awards, including best film and best actress for Maribel Verdú. Although released in 2012, it maintains the essence of early 20th century Spain. The "Spanish Snow White" is called Carmen, and the 7 dwarfs are in this version some bullfighting Enanos who accompany the protagonist. Promising, isn't it?
In the film you can enjoy a gothic-Spanish aesthetic full of unforgettable moments, such as the actress Ángela Molina dancing flamenco to ecstasy or the award-winning bulería "No te puedo encontrar" by Silvia Pérez Cruz and the guitarist Juan Gómez (Chicuelo).
Los Tarantos (1962)
We continue with the Spanish versions, this time with Romeo and Juliet set in the gypsy lands of Barcelona and with one of the most emblematic scenes of the bailaora Carmen Amaya.
Also starring Antonio Gades and Sara Lezana, this is a hypnotic film that was nominated at the Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film. One more proof that Flamenco does not understand barriers or languages.
Flamenco and the mother who bore him. Flamenco Guide by Professor Yotoko.
Flamenco is drama, but also humor. Therefore, in our selection we could not miss "El Flamenco y la madre que lo parió. Professor Yotoko's Flamenco Guide". This is a hilarious animated short that unravels the origins, history and evolution of flamenco from the point of view of a supposedly erudite Japanese professor, a specialist in flamenco, called Yotoko. I play... what? Find out at this link.
Flamenco, Flamenco (2010)
How can we talk about flamenco cinema without mentioning Carlos Saura? This is a director who has made his best films from flamenco. Whether in the form of a musical (with his trilogy Bodas de sangre, Carmen and El amor brujo), or from the kinky, which claims the return of flamenco to the most disadvantaged social classes -in his acclaimed Deprisa, Deprisa, from which Rosalía covered the song by Los Chunguitos, Me quedo contigo.
But he also has films from and for flamenco, which he baptizes with the same name. Flamenco, the first one, features performances by Farruco, Paco de Lucía, Joaquín Cortés, La Paquera de Jerez, Fernando Terremoto, Enrique Morente, Manuel Moneo, Manuel Agujetas, José Menese, Tomatito, Moraito, Rafael Riqueni and Carmen Linares.
And in the second, called Flamenco, Flamenco, we also find José Mercé, Sara Baras, Manolo Sanlúcar, Estrella Morente, Tomatito, Miguel Poveda and Eva Yerbabuena.
What more could a flamenco lover ask for?
1. More about Paco de Lucía here. Documentary that chronicles the career of the great guitarist Paco de Lucía through several interviews conducted between 2010 and 2014. More than 60 years of searching, of musical research, of going beyond the established until he managed to transform flamenco from marginal to worldwide.
2. More about Carmen Amaya here. Carmen Amaya was a fundamental dancer in the history of flamenco who triumphed all over the world. A legend of flamenco dance. David Prats rescues the figure of this charismatic dancer from Barcelona in this documentary.
3. The good and the bad of the best tablaos here. Pilar Távora unravels in this documentary the world that surrounds the tablaos, discovering the hard life of the artists in front of the party that the public enjoys.
4. All about Peret, the inventor of the Catalan rumba, here. The artistic and personal adventure of Peret, the artist who with a bit of mambo, a dash of tanguillo and a pinch of rock created the Catalan rumba. An intimate portrait and at the same time a tribute to Pere Pubill Calaf, Peret for the whole world, the king of the Catalan rumba for history.
5. And let's not forget the most current flamenco with a beautiful documentary of Miguel Poveda. On the anniversary of his 25 years on stage, Miguel Poveda decides to do something special, possibly his most ambitious concert. Throughout the months in which this event was being conceived, we will tell the story of Miguel Ángel Poveda León, the person behind the spotlight. The story of a boy who, having everything against him to succeed in flamenco, managed to become one of the current references.