Thursday, 7 February 2013

The Carlos Saura Challenge

   I mentioned a while back that I was considering dedicating a month on the blog to Carlos Saura (in the style of my 'Almodóvar Month' back in August 2011), but I've decided that that's not feasible because of the number of films (38) in his filmography. So instead I'm going to set myself a 'Carlos Saura Challenge': in the next calendar year (i.e. February 2013 - January 2014) I will attempt to watch all those of his films that are available either on DVD or VOD. This should build up to the arrival of his next film - Guernica, 33 días - which goes into production this year (although there is no set release date for it yet). I think I have now tracked down as many as possible of the films (30, at the last count [not all of them are in the above photo]- it's taken more than six months and some are missing because their apparent rarity makes them too expensive, while others are only available as VOD), although there are still some omissions (indicated below -I've also noted which ones are available as VOD). As I said in a Not-Entirely-Random Viewing post last year, I'm not particularly confident writing about his dance / music films because of my ignorance of those elements, but they are an integral part of his career, so I will have to work out how to write about them as I go along. My intention is that, like Almodóvar Month, each film will have a (relatively short) individual post, with longer posts appearing at intervals (further into the year). The full list of films is below and future posts will be tagged 'Carlos Saura Challenge' so that they can be found together. As usual any English titles in square brackets are my own translation (otherwise the title shown is the official English language title). The dates given refer to the Spanish theatrical release.

38. Guernica, 33 días / Guernica, 33 Days (in pre-production)
37. Flamenco, Flamenco (2010) VOD
36. Io, Don Giovanni / I, Don Giovanni (2010)
35. Fados (2007)
34. Iberia (2005) VOD
33. El séptimo día / The Seventh Day (2004)
32. Salomé (2002)
31. Buñuel y la mesa del rey Salomón / Buñuel and King Solomon's Table (2001)
30. Goya en Burdeos / Goya in Bordeaux (1999)
29. Tango (1998)
28. Pajarico / [Little Bird] (1997)
27. Taxi (1996)
26. Flamenco (1995)
25. ¡Dispara! / Outrage (1993)
24. Sevillanas (1992) [unable to get a copy]
23. ¡Ay, Carmela! (1990)
22. La noche oscura / [The Dark Night] (1989)
21. El Dorado (1988) [unavailable]
20. El amor brujo (1986)
19. Los zancos / [The Stilts] (1984) [unavailable]
18. Carmen (1983)
17. Antonieta (1982) [only available on R1]
16. Dulces horas / [Sweet Hours] (1982) VOD
15. Bodas de sangre / Blood Wedding (1981)
14. Deprisa, deprisa / Faster, Faster (1981)
13. Mamá cumple 100 años / [Mama Turns 100] (1979) VOD
12. Los ojos vendados / Blindfolded Eyes (1978) VOD
11. Elisa, vida mía / Elisa, My Life (1977) VOD
10. Cría cuervos / Raise Ravens (1976) VOD
09. La prima Ángelica / Cousin Angelica (1974) VOD
08. Ana y los lobos / Ana and the Wolves (1973) VOD
07. El jardin de las delicias / The Garden of Delights (1970)
06. La madriguera / Honeycomb (1969) [not available]
05. Stress-es-tres-tres / Stress is Three (1968) [not available]
04. Peppermint frappé (1967) VOD
03. La caza / The Hunt (1966)
02. Llanto por un bandido / Lament for a Bandit (1964)
01. Los golfos / The Delinquents (1962) [unavailable]

So we'll see how I go - I may have bitten off more than I can chew as I'll find it difficult to work through that many films (while also trying to watch other ones as well, and, y'know, having a job), not to mention the fact that the majority of the DVDs I have acquired do not have English subtitles. If anyone wants to jump in with a take on any of the films, you would be more than welcome, either here or I can link to your own blogs. Cría cuervos is released on DVD in the UK in May, so maybe some folks would be interested in that? Likewise, Bodas de sangre, Carmen, and El amor brujo had DVD releases last year. The others are admittedly more difficult to get hold of (plus the subtitles issue). Let me know -either in the comments or on twitter.


ianmundell said...

Challenge is right. A couple of years ago the Cinematek in Brussels ran a near-complete chronological retrospective over a couple of months, but even then the schedule was so tight that there was hardly time to reflect between films. And Saura does require reflection, if not repeat viewing, so while it was great it was also very frustrating. And while it found 35mm copies to fill some of your gaps, films such as Los Zancos and El Dorador were still missing. Anyway, I'm looking forward to readiing your thoughts.

Rebecca said...

Thank you. Yes, I'm planning to pace myself and try to watch 2-3 films per month, but the reflection issue is also why I don't intend to attempt to write longer posts until later in the year - a lot of them seem to be the type of films that you need to let percolate in your mind for a while. I'm looking forward to it though because I've only previously seen 5-6 of his films (mainly the music / dance ones) - so new films to watch ('new' to me at least), and hopefully broadening my knowledge of Spanish cinema at the same time. I'm hoping that other people will join in in the comments section as I post the shorter pieces on each film.

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