Carlos Saura's Flamenco Trilogy - Eclipse Series 6

 

 Blood Wedding (1981)      Carmen (1983)       El Amor brujo (1986)

 

One of Spanish cinema's great auteurs, Carlos Saura brought international audiences closer to the art of his country's dance than any other filmmaker, before or since. In his Flamenco Trilogy—Blood Wedding, Carmen, and El amor brujo—Saura merged his passion for music with his exploration of national identity. All starring and choreographed by legendary dancer Antonio Gades, the films feature thrilling physicality and electrifying cinematography and editing—colorful paeans to bodies in motion as well as to cinema itself.

 


Titles

 


 

Blood Wedding
Carlos Saura, 1981
Carlos Saura began what would become his trilogy with this depiction of a single dress rehearsal for choreographer Antonio Gades's adaptation of poet/playwright Federico Garcia Lorca's tale of passionate revenge. No mere recording of a ballet, Bodas de sangre (Blood Wedding) uses gripping camerawork and heart-pounding rhythmic editing to evoke the experience of moving with the dancers every step of the way.

Carmen
Carlos Saura, 1983
Saura's biggest international box-office success was this self-reflexive meditation on both Bizet's popular opera Carmen and the original novella by Prosper Merimee. Antonio Gades plays a choreographer who gets involved with his neophyte lead dancer (Laura del Sol), and grows dangerously jealous. Depicting the ups and downs of their affair in between rehearsals for Gades's ballet, Carmen is a visually hypnotic hall of mirrors in which the dancers become inseparable from their personas.

El amor brujo
Carlos Saura, 1986
The Flamenco Trilogy's most straightforward narrative is also its most forthrightly theatrical, a modern take on composer Manuel de Falla's gypsy ballet, dressed up in pink sunsets and hellishly red fires. Set in a dusty Andalusian village, El amor brujo (Love the Magician) is a seductive melodrama of a man (Antonio Gades) whose beloved is haunted by the ghost of another..

Posters

Theatrical Releases: 1981 - 1986

DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Eclipse Series Six from the Criterion Collection (3-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC

 

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution Eclipse / Criterion Collection - Region 1 - NTSC
Time: Respectively - 1:11:36, 1:41:45 + 1:43:36
Bitrate:

Blood Wedding

Bitrate:

Carmen

Bitrate:

El Amor Brujo

Audio Spanish (original)
Subtitles English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Eclipse / Criterion Collection

Aspect Ratio:
All Original Aspect Ratios - 1.33 for Blood Wedding and 1.66 anamorphic for other two

Edition Details:

  •  one page (for each film) of liner notes in the transparent case


DVD Release Date: October 16th, 2007

3 Transparent Keep Cases inside a Slipcase cardboard box
Chapters: 10, 14, and 14

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The 3 feature films of this boxset are housed in slim individual transparent keep cases (see image above) and they are not sold separately at this time. I believe only Saura's Carmen has been released in other DVD editions (in PAL) and the other two, Blood Wedding and El Amor Brujo, may be making their DVD debut in English friendly digital.

I'm happy to announce that none of these three are pictureboxed transferred (see our full description of 'pictureboxing' in our Kind Hearts and Coronets review). Each are coded for Region 1 in the NTSC standard. Blood Wedding is single layered and Carmen and El Amor Brujo are on dual-layered discs. The transfers are progressive and in the original aspect ratios (1.33 for Blood Wedding and anamorphic 1.66 for Carmen and El Amor Brujo). The audio for all is original Spanish mono and there are optional English subtitles. The Studio Canal and D.A. International logos start each film so we can assume that is the transfer source(s). 

Image quality: El Amor Brujo has some of the most dramatic shots of the trilogy but is probably the weakest of the three transfers with Blood Wedding sporting pristine sharpness and pitch black levels (possibly lightly boosted) - Carmen is not far behind in terms of detail with a smattering of fine digital noise and somewhat muted colors. There are no distracting speckles and the images are relatively free of damage. I think the captures below give a fair representation of how the DVD package looks. They look good!

Audio was quite healthy and I noted no significant dropout flaws or excessive background hiss. The audio is supported with optional English subtitles.

 

As standard for Eclipse there are no digital supplements but some excellent liner notes readable through the keep case cover for each film.  

All three works here are highly lauded films and rightly so. Saura utilizes the precision and passion of dance for his subtle theatric endowments. The trilogy is both hypnotic and enticing - time seems to fly by as you watch them. A mistake would be to solely judge these films without viewing them in their entirety - they are not simply dance movies - there is so much more conveyed and I am so very glad to have had the opportunity to view them with such competent image quality. Highly recommended - enjoy this infectious and dramatic world cinema effort - WOW!

Gary W. Tooze




DVD Menus



 

Slim Transparent Keep Case Cover

 

 

Blood Wedding (1981)

Directed by Carlos Saura

Starring Antonio Gades, Cristina Hoyos, Juan Antonio Jiménez, Pilar Cárdenas and Carmen Villena
 
Carlos Saura began what would become his trilogy with this depiction of a single dress rehearsal for choreographer Antonio Gades's adaptation of poet/playwright Federico Garcia Lorca's tale of passionate revenge. No mere recording of a ballet, Bodas de sangre (Blood Wedding) uses gripping camerawork and heart-pounding rhythmic editing to evoke the experience of moving with the dancers every step of the way. 
 
Subtitle Sample
 

 
Screen Captures
 

 

 

 

 


 

Slim Transparent Keep Case Cover

 

 

 

Carmen (1983)

 

Directed by Carlos Saura

Starring Antonio Gades, Laura del Sol, Paco de Lucía and Marisol 
 
Saura's biggest international box-office success was this self-reflexive meditation on both Bizet's popular opera Carmen and the original novella by Prosper Merimee. Antonio Gades plays a choreographer who gets involved with his neophyte lead dancer (Laura del Sol), and grows dangerously jealous. Depicting the ups and downs of their affair in between rehearsals for Gades's ballet, Carmen is a visually hypnotic hall of mirrors in which the dancers become inseparable from their personas.

 

Subtitle Sample
 

 

Screen Captures

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Slim Transparent Keep Case Cover

 

 

 

El Amor Brujo (1986)

 

Directed by Carlos Saura

Starring Antonio Gades, Cristina Hoyos, Laura del Sol, Juan Antonio Jiménez and Emma Penella
 
The Flamenco Trilogy's most straightforward narrative is also its most forthrightly theatrical, a modern take on composer Manuel de Falla's gypsy ballet, dressed up in pink sunsets and hellishly red fires. Set in a dusty Andalusian village, El amor brujo (Love the Magician) is a seductive melodrama of a man (Antonio Gades) whose beloved is haunted by the ghost of another..

 

Screen Captures

 

 

 

 


 

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Eclipse / Criterion Collection - Region 1 - NTSC




 

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