Boston Globe.com–Two “Flamencos” are better than one. “Flamenco,” octogenarian Spanish director Carlos Saura’s 1995 celebration of the musical genre that has long been his obsession, presents an eclectic bill of dancers, singers, and instrumentalists in an unadorned format. It is a delight for flamenco fans and provides a fascinating introduction for those unfamiliar with the music. But as cinema, despite the lush cinematography of Vittorio Storaro, it is lacking.
Not so 2010’s “Flamenco, Flamenco,” which more than doubles the artistry of the first film. With a conceptual structure as inventive as that of Jonathan Demme’s “Stop Making Sense” and a use of theatrical effects and staging as ingenious as that in the films of Hans Jürgen Syberberg, the newer film combines images (again photographed by Storaro), sound, editing, and a poetic narrative of sorts to integrate the power of film with the seductive passion of the music.