Eclipse Series 6: Carlos Saura's Flamenco Trilogy

Discuss DVDs released in the Eclipse and Essential Art House lines and the films on them.
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rohmerin
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:36 am
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#26 Post by rohmerin » Fri Aug 31, 2007 11:50 am

Gigi M. wrote:Excellent news. Hopefully this means more Spanish films are on the way. One Spanish director who is missing even in his country is Luis Garcia Berlanga. His films, El Verdugo and Placido are among the finest films I've ever seen.
Not true, fortunately, most of Berlanga's films are available in good prints in DVD in Spain. Sadly, Edgar Neville, our best classic director is still missing.
tavernier wrote:Of course, his greatest film is The Garden of Delights, which is not on DVD in R1 yet. Criterion???
His greatest, I agree, I've downloaded the Divx and yes, it's terrific. The best shared with Cousin Angelica, a film that I Adore.

I've never seen the flamenco trilogy, maybe because I don't like (neither understand) flamenco music.

I've done most of Saura's films at English wikipedia. If someone wants to improve the articles, please do it. The plots are missing because I'm a disaster at writing synopses, even in Spanish.

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Gigi M.
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 5:09 pm
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#27 Post by Gigi M. » Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:43 pm

rohmerin wrote:
Gigi M. wrote:Excellent news. Hopefully this means more Spanish films are on the way. One Spanish director who is missing even in his country is Luis Garcia Berlanga. His films, El Verdugo and Placido are among the finest films I've ever seen.
Not true, fortunately, most of Berlanga's films are available in good prints in DVD in Spain. Sadly, Edgar Neville, our best classic director is still missing.
Well, I didn't find them when I was there a few months ago. Someone at a Fnack told me that they were OOP (Descatalagodas). I found a copy of Placido, tough.

DVDgo also list them OOP. If you happened to know where I can find them please let me know.

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rohmerin
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#28 Post by rohmerin » Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:18 pm

you're right. All seems to be out of print, but you can import today (hoy acaban las rebajas)

esa pareja feliz, 1st Berlanga AND Bardem film for 8 euros.

Moros y Cristianos. It's a funny comedy, but not his best.

Vivan los novios, the only one I've not seen.

Goya award winner Todos a la cárcel is avalaible too.

Paris Tombuctú is Awful, horrible film. Don't buy it.

DVDGO

Te puedes bajar sus películas de la red legal o ilegalemente.

legalmente de una página española cuyo nombre no recuerdo. Ilegalmente, ya sabes dónde.

Spanish films are often given with NEWSPAPERS such as El País or El Mundo. I own the dvds they sold at Kioscos. 2 euros each one.

Many times, you can see on streets rest of those collections-

If you came back to Madrid, you have to go to Plaza de Bilbao, tehre's one kiosco on the street with all those dvds.

Berlanga's trilogy about Marqués de Leguineche was on kioscos for 10 euros. The fisrt one, La escopeta nacional, is a masterpiece. Have you seen it?

BTW: yesterday, José Luis de Vilallonga, a real Marqués and actor in Giulieta degli spiririti, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Les amants, Darling and Berlanga's trilogy died.

I edit: you're lucky. October 24, several Berlanga's films are announced by Filmax: Plácido, La vaquilla (a masterpiecve about Spanish civil war), Tamaño natural (dubbed, it was filmed in French, in Paris), Patrimonio Nacional and Nacional III but NOT La escopeta nacional.

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Gigi M.
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#29 Post by Gigi M. » Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:34 pm

Many thanks.

My sister lives in Madrid and she sends me DVDs all the time. I'll tell her for sure, but how great are the transfers? My copies of Placido and Atraco a las 3 from the same label are very lousy. I understand that many of Berlanga's films are from the same label.

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rohmerin
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#30 Post by rohmerin » Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:43 pm

Don't expect Criterion standards of quality.

but for a few of euros, 2 or 3, what you can expect?

Calabuch, if you sister can find it, that film it's really restored.

Do you know MARCO FERRERI Spanish films? Both El pisito and El cochecito are black comedies masterpieces. Are avalaible in bad prints by Manga. Expensive (15 euros). Bájatelas, es lo mejor.

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Gigi M.
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#31 Post by Gigi M. » Wed Oct 03, 2007 8:38 pm


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Lino
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#32 Post by Lino » Thu Oct 04, 2007 6:25 am

As expected, they look way better than my current spanish editions. A bit of a shame about El Amor Brujo, which should have looked the best of the three because it is the most visually interesting of the lot. Still, not too bad, though and surely worthy of an upgrade for those of us who already own them.

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colinr0380
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#33 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Oct 13, 2007 4:24 pm


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Antares
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#34 Post by Antares » Fri Nov 02, 2007 12:13 pm

I just received these and the quality is acceptable for the price paid. They are not pristine, but are still leaps and bounds above any of the alternatives. I look forward to more releases in the Eclipse series.

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colinr0380
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#35 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Nov 10, 2007 10:23 pm

Bajaja wrote:I am taking this opportunity to ask again my question about Saura's El Dorado: Has anyone seen it? Any comments?
Sorry to take this off topic of the Flamenco Trilogy for a moment. I've only seen a television showing of El Dorado (1.85 rather than 2.35 widescreen), and thought it was OK, with some major reservations. I feel Aguirre, Wrath of God is the far better film - it has a raw quality that helps to create a feeling of actually living and struggling through the events with the characters. El Dorado is spectacular but is made in a much more 'classical' style (the main characters barely get their armour muddied!), keeping its distance from Aguirre and not focusing too much on the insane folly of it all (it is described as being officially commissioned as a commemorative film in the opening credits and it plays very much like an authorised version of history).

There is not really a sense of the number of people slowly dwindling as the expedition becomes hopeless - there are still a huge number of extras even at the end of the film. At the same time there are no scenes showing the physical labour of the people being ruled by a bunch of variously idealistic, greedy and crazy people vying for control of the expedition. There is nothing comparable to that magnificent first shot of the Herzog film of the sheer scale of the expedition that was taken to search for El Dorado, a shot that had me immediately thinking of all the people struggling to fulfil their master's crazy ambitions (which also applies as much to Herzog as to the events he is showing) and a shot that contrasts perfectly with the final image of Aguirre alone on the raft, showing how all those people ended up dying in vain.

The nearest El Dorado comes to a similar comment is an early scene where a boat is launched to much celebration, which then immediately breaks in half and sinks, and a scene where one of the noblemen who was plotting to return to Peru is humiliated by having to row the boat with the black slaves.

I was left feeling that El Dorado was much more of an 'official' or nobleman's take on history, concerned with plots, betrayals and infighting among the elite (even the earlier boat launching scene shies away from showing the fate of those on the boat that sinks to focus on the head shipbuilder's reaction to seeing his boat sink - akin to showing how terrible the sinking of the Titanic was from the perspective of the manager of the White Star Line Board of Directors back in Liverpool trying to figure out how much the tragedy has cost them!) while Aguirre, Wrath of God seems to move beyond the story itself to portray the universal themes behind the specific story.

El Dorado also manages to make this epic story strangely boring in its middle section - there must be about forty minutes where Lambert Wilson and his clique are dispatched, then new rulers are brought in who are then also killed, then new people lead the expedition until they are killed at which point Aguirre kills the people who plotted the last assassination!

This is another way in which the film is strangely by the numbers in its storytelling - once it became apparent that we are going to have to watch a third cycle of paranoia, plotting, assassination and spinning of the assassination to the troops I found myself getting a little frustrated with the film. I guess it was an attempt to show the way the expedition was cannibalising itself through repetitive cycles of violence, but if that was the aim the message was belabored a little too much.

For a film that takes far less risks in telling its story, it strangely feels much cruder than Herzog's film (i.e. the scene where the horses are killed for their meat) - it seems to be trying to fit the characters into simple hero and villian roles compared to Herzog managing to find some compassion and empathy even for Aguirre himself.

This is perhaps best illustrated by the way Herzog finds a beautiful poetic image of the now bereaved wife of the original leader of the expedition walking off into the jungle with her retinue never to be seen again with the same character's treatment in El Dorado - as a manipulative slut who after her man is killed is caught in bed with Aguirre's power rival and is then chased into the jungle and killed onscreen. One interpretation allows the character to retain a tiny shred of dignity through making the audience fully aware of her inevitable death without having to show it (which moment might also inform the later Grizzly Man and Herzog's decision not to play the tape of the fatal bear attack in the film), the other makes it more obvious as to her eventual fate but also imposes its opinion of what it thinks of the character in the way it treats her.

I don't know whether this problem was the fault of the television broadcast that I saw or not, but Lambert Wilson's dialogue did not seem particularly well dubbed into Spanish - it was very out of synch at times, which was very obvious in his big speech scene at the beginning of the film.

So there are a lot of major flaws in the film, which focuses on the most limited rather than universal aspects of the story, which ends without taking events fully to their inevitable conclusion and which fails to capture any of the danger or struggle of the expedition, instead making it feel at times like a historical cruise trip(!), but some of the images are extremely beautiful and it is certainly worth checking out if you are interested. Watch Aguirre, Wrath of God first though!

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Napier
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#36 Post by Napier » Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:37 am

I just watched Carmen last night.And I must say this little trilogy exceeded all my expectations.I just find them totally engrossing.What really blew me away about Carmen was when the beginning credits were rolling I saw Music by Paco de Lucia.The guitar work in these films is great.What a surprise by Eclipse.When Paco and the other guitarists start playing together it's like a guitar army.Eat your heart out Jimmy Page.

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GringoTex
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#37 Post by GringoTex » Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:31 pm

I watched Amor Brujo last night to finally complete the trilogy, and I have to say: as for the subject of theater, only Rivette surpasses Saura.

I know Saura says he never planned the trilogy, but it's all so perfect: Blood Wedding is the rehearsal; Carmen is the backstage soap opera, and Amor Brujo is the production. The three films are a perfectly composed whole of how great artists create art.

Moreover, I lived in a Central American shantytown for 6 months, and Amor Brujo is by far the most realistic portrayal of a shantytown I've ever seen on the screen. The world is a stage...

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dad1153
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Re: Eclipse Series 6: Carlos Saura's Flamenco Trilogy

#38 Post by dad1153 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:56 pm


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Cinephrenic
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Re: Eclipse Series 6: Carlos Saura's Flamenco Trilogy

#39 Post by Cinephrenic » Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:33 pm

I bought this today for $30 with shipping. At least I can be a completist on Eclipse. :lol:

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dad1153
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Re: Eclipse Series 6: Carlos Saura's Flamenco Trilogy

#40 Post by dad1153 » Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:58 pm

Carlos Saura's Flamenco Trilogy (Eclipse) still available for sale at Deep Discount ('25MORE' at checkout for below-$30 price).

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tajmahal
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Re: Eclipse Series 6: Carlos Saura's Flamenco Trilogy

#41 Post by tajmahal » Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:38 pm

Cinephrenic wrote:I bought this today for $30 with shipping. At least I can be a completist on Eclipse. :lol:
A total Eclipse \:D/

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movielocke
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:44 am

Re: Eclipse Series 6: Carlos Saura's Flamenco Trilogy

#42 Post by movielocke » Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:16 am

Last edited by movielocke on Fri Aug 13, 2010 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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feckless boy
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Re: Eclipse Series 6: Carlos Saura's Flamenco Trilogy

#43 Post by feckless boy » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:49 am

movielocke wrote:A Total Eclipse
Properly sealed until the Lion of Judah drops by for a surprise visit - classy!

mteller
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:23 pm

Re: Eclipse Series 6: Carlos Saura's Flamenco Trilogy

#44 Post by mteller » Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:27 pm

I just watched these over the weekend and was swept off my feet. I think Saura is up there with Fosse and Berkeley in terms of capturing dance on film. I love the progression over the three films from the world of the performers to the world inside the performance. Definitely picking up this set when the next good sale comes around.

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Murdoch
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Re: Eclipse Series 6: Carlos Saura's Flamenco Trilogy

#45 Post by Murdoch » Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:30 pm

I wouldn't count on that, it's OOP and fetching outrageous prices.

mteller
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:23 pm

Re: Eclipse Series 6: Carlos Saura's Flamenco Trilogy

#46 Post by mteller » Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:39 pm

Murdoch wrote:I wouldn't count on that, it's OOP and fetching outrageous prices.
GAH! I had no idea it went OOP (or if I did, it slipped my mind). That's what I get for waiting so long to see it :(

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fdm
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Re: Eclipse Series 6: Carlos Saura's Flamenco Trilogy

#47 Post by fdm » Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:11 am

Wrote this elsewhere at the time these were disappearing: "Were I to recommend an Eclipse set at this point, I'd suggest the Saura set that's on the verge of going out of print. (It's the only I've watched at this point, but I think is among the highlights of the titles that Criterion is being forced to drop after next month, and I've pretty much watched just about all of the other ones now.)"

Hope whoever read it at the time was paying attention.

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manicsounds
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Re: Eclipse Series 6: Carlos Saura's Flamenco Trilogy

#48 Post by manicsounds » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:29 am

Found this at a store for about $70. Worth it even at that price?

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swo17
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Re: Eclipse Series 6: Carlos Saura's Flamenco Trilogy

#49 Post by swo17 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:55 am

That's still considerably cheaper than what you'll get it for online.

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Napier
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Re: Eclipse Series 6: Carlos Saura's Flamenco Trilogy

#50 Post by Napier » Sat Aug 13, 2011 7:21 pm

I got this for $6 at an estate sale today. Along with a horde of DVDs that nobody else there seemed to give a flip about. Whoever died, had one massive collection. Everything was being sold for $2 a DVD. I wish you all could have been there.

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