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SALSA DANCE FILM FESTIVAL FOR SALSEROS

 

Salsa truly "no tiene frontera" - (to quote a song from the Japanese Orquesta de la Luz) 

 

By Maya -- Read the Updated Review of the San Francisco Film Festival!

 

The yearly SF Film Festival beginning this Thursday will feature several films where salsa is either the main topic (see below) or is flickering in the background even in movies that have nothing to do with music.  One of the characters  in the French READ MY LIPS ()went to a salsa club and met a lover (what else is new?).  A very serious documentary about Israeli-Palestinian relations THE INNER TOUR () is showing a club scene in Tel-Aviv with salsa music and dancers spilling on the street.  Another salsa fabulosa is accompanying an… unmentionable scene in a delightful coming of age story from Australia LA SPAGNOLA. () Why unmentionable?  You've got to see for yourself, besides, this bittersweet drama might be a worthy contender for an Oscar. (Read the upcoming festival review)
 
This year several festival films might interest Latin music lovers. First of all, there's VAN VAN, LET'S PARTY(), a documentary from Argentina about the most famous (or so they claim) Cuban band Los Van Van.  The entire film consists of interviews with band members, past and present, as well as musical footage of current and past shows, some as early as 1970.  There's also their appearance in Miami where Cuban exiles staged a protest as well as their biggest triumph - winning a Grammy. My ratings: ****for Cuban music fanatics, ** for salsa lovers in general and * for general public.
 
Van Van will be screened 27, 29 and 30 of April at Kabuki theaters.
 
Another promising documentary about Latin music SOUND OF BRAZIL was made by none other than Mika Kaurismaki from Finland whose brother Aki made quite a splash at the Toronto Film Festival some time ago with his unusual movies popping up in North-American theaters ever since.  Not yet rated.
 
Sound of Brazil will be shown 4/19 at Castro, 4/21 at Kabuki and 4/23 at PFA.
 
Why so many dance films are flops? Remember this fabulous Australian movie Strictly Ballroom?  This was a rare film on the dance theme that was also a work of art winning prizes at several film festivals.  Its Japanese version Shall We Dance and the American  Dance With Me don't even come close.  Another dance movie, Tango Lesson, could bore you to death if not for its tango numbers. Unfortunately, here comes one more from Hong-Kong, DANCE OF A DREAM ()and this one takes the prize for its capacity to rot your teeth with its sweetener coated stupidity.  One nice tango number and a few pleasing salsa sounds cannot compensate for the time wasted watching it. * for the easy to please dance lovers.  None for everybody else.
 
Still interested? 4/28 and 5/01 at Kabuki.
 
Don't get fooled by the Taiwanese movie titled MILLENNIUM MAMBO. It has nothing to do with the dance. If interested in world cinema, watch for the upcoming film festival review in the beginning of May.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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