J: BEYOND FLAMENCO
JUNE 15, 2017 3:00 PM.
25 Broadway, New York, NY 10004
*Picture ID Required to enter the building
ORIGINAL TITLE: LA JOTA
DIRECTOR: Carlos Saura
PRODUCERS: César Alierta & Leslie Calvo
CAST: Sara Baras, Miguel Ángel Berna, Carlos Núñez, Ara Malikian, Cañizares, Giovanni Sollima, Valeriano Paños, Francesco Loccisano, Enrike Solinis, Manuela Adamo, Maria Mazzota, Nacho del Río, Beatriz Bernad, Alberto Artigas, Miguen Ángel Remiro, Amador Castilla, & Carmen París.
Date completed: 2016
Film Category: Musical
Length of Film: 90 min
La Jota is folk music and dancing so powerful that has been able to attract renowned musical composers such as Listz, Saen Saens, Massenet, Falla, Granados, Albéniz, Tárrega o Bretón, among others great ones. Its influence is evident in most part of the Spanish geography: Castilla, Navarra, Valencia, Murcia, Extremadura and Andalucía. It is also still very present in Philippines and Latin America, especially in Mexico.
It is said that, and it seems to me very graphical, that “Jota” comes from the Arabian “Chotar”, that means to jump. La Jota is much more than mere jumping, is an unique rhythm, cheerful and contagious that has kept improving and perfectioning over the years. Nowadays, many dance academies are devoted to teach how to dance and how to sing it, but… how is la Jota evolving?
To us, this is the biggest challenge: to discover new possibilities for rhythm, to dive in the recovery of similar rhythms, both in the past and present. My intention is to make a musical film that gathers the best existing material on this subject, leaving a visual document of exceptional value, about artists of today and others who are missing; orthodoxy and heterodoxy; songs and rhythms already considered classicals or that are still to come must be worthily represented in our work.
Carlos Saura, in full Carlos Saura Atarés (born Jan. 4, 1932, Huesca, Spain), film director who analyzed the spirit of Spain in tragedies and flamenco-dance dramas.
Saura grew up in Madrid and began directing feature films while teaching at the Official School of Cinematography (1957–63). La caza (1965; The Hunt) was his first violent indictment of Spanish society under Francisco Franco. Saura’s bitter El jardin de las delicias (1970; The Garden of Delights) was delayed, then mutilated by Spanish censors. Ana y los lobos (1972; Anna and the Wolves) was also delayed by the censors; in it a governess in a crumbling mansion is beset by brothers who symbolize, according to Saura, “the three monsters of Spain: perversion of religiosity, repressed sexuality, and the authoritarian spirit.” His La prima Angélica (1973; Cousin Angelica) was the first Spanish film to present the Spanish Civil War from the viewpoint of the losing Republican cause. It was shown uncensored but provoked bomb attacks in Spanish theatres.
After the death of Franco in 1975, Saura usually avoided political content. His trilogy of flamenco-dance dramas—Bodes de sangre (1981; Blood Wedding), Carmen (1983), and El amor brujo (1986; Love the Magician)—were innovative versions of classic stories, done in collaboration with choreographer–lead actor–dancer Antonio Gades and his company. Carmen, based on Prosper Mérimée’s 1845 novella, included musical passages from Georges Bizet’s 1875 opera and fused rehearsal, performance, and a contemporary mirror of Mérimée’s plot; long portions of the film were danced without dialogue. Saura’s later movies included El Dorado (1988); Tango (1998), which received an Academy Award nomination for best foreign film; Salomé (2002); and the documentary Fados (2007).