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Friday, January 20, 2017

El Amor Brujo (1986)

A man (Antonio Gades) is wrongfully sent to prison for killing the husband (Juan Antonio Jimenez) of the woman (Cristina Hoyos) he's loved all his life. When he returns, he attempts to rekindle that love and she's willing but the ghost of the husband literally stands in their way. Based on the 1915 ballet by Manuel de Falla and directed by Carlos Saura. This is my favorite of the three flamenco musicals directed by Saura. Saura and Gades have added dialog to the ballet to give it a more cinematic narrative but dance (choreographed by Gades) is always at the forefront. The film is highly stylized and Saura sets the film on an obvious sound stage with makeshift shacks where the dance drama is played out. The film's musical highlight is the spellbinding Ritual Fire Dance beautifully danced by Hoyos and company. Special note must be made of Gerardo Vera's colorful art direction and costumes which only add to the mystic quality of the whole enterprise. With Laura Del Sol (THE HIT).  

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