Carlos Saura-a great music lover and director who honors other artists in his films-discovers the musical richness of Argentina. The country's diverse folklore includes the chacarera, a folk version of the tango; the copla, which is derived from the songs of the Spanish troubadours; the African-influenced malambo; and the chamamé, which brings together the musical traditions of Polish, Ukrainian, and German immigrants. Saura's poetic documentary-filmed with a subtle touch by Brazilian cinematographer Félix Monti at a studio in Buenos Aires-transports viewers to a magical land that is somehow beyond time. In a spectacle of images and sounds, among the costumes and masks, the live musicians performing their songs and the dancers interpreting them, we even find the great "La Negra," singer Mercedes Sosa, who died in 2009. As Saura demonstrates, music has a way of connecting those who have passed on with those who are only now arriving much like the zonda, the warm wind that is always blowing in northeastern Argentina.
Born in Aragon, Carlos Saura comes from a family with rich artistic traditions (his mother was a pianist and his brother a painter), a fact that had an impact on Saura's interests and erudition. He completed his studies in Film Direction in 1957 in Madrid-where he also studied Engineering and Journalism-with the documentary La tarde del domingo (Sunday Afternoon). Then, combining the traditions of documentary and feature films, he made The Delinquents, and his 1966 film The Hunt launched a nearly 20-year period of collaboration with producer Elías Querejeta, which provided him with relative creative freedom under the dictatorship of General Franco. During this period, Saura primarily made psychological and family dramas that were camouflaged in how they related to the political situation on the Iberian Peninsula. Marked by lyricism and dream states and drawing on Spanish literature (Calderon, Sender, Lorca) and painting (Ribeiro, Murillo, Goya), Saura's films are highly original auteur works. Saura is also a master of dance and musical films, examples of which include his operatic Salome and Carmen and his ballet starring Cristina Hojos and Antonio Gades, Blood Wedding.
1959 Los golfos / The Delinquents
1966 Polowanie / La caza / The Hunt
1973 Anna i wilki / Ana y los lobos / Anna and the Wolves
1982 Słodkie godziny / Dulces horas / Sweet Hours
2009 Ja, Don Giovanni / Io, Don Giovani / I, Don Giovanni