J: BEYOND FLAMENCO
Instituto Cervantes New York
211 E 49th St, New York, NY 10017
OPENING NIGHT FILM.
JUNE 08, 2017. 6:30 PM. By invitation only
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.
One of Spain's most renowned filmmakers with Buñuel and Almodovar, Carlos Saura was born in Huesca, Aragón, birthplace of the "Jota" genre of music. At the age of 23 he directed his first documentary, and since then has never stop directing films, documentaries, theater, writing novels or photo exhibitions. Director of more than 50 films, he has won all possible awards in Cannes (except the Palm d'Or), in Berlin, (including the Golden Bear) and has been nominated three times for an Oscar among other innumerable awards.
His series of musical films are regarded as one of the most important creative achievements in recent world cinema. With La Jota he closes a circle that he started with Sevillanas in 1992.
Carlos Saura is Comendateur of the Order of Arts and Letters of France, Grand Official of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, Order of Isabel the Catholic in Spain, EFA award for Film Contribution and holds several Honoris Causa from universities all over the world.