When I heard that Carlos Saura made a new flamenco movie, the thought “Will it be possible for Carlos Saura to exceed himself?” popped into my mind. I have seen most of Carlos Saura’s flamenco movies. I have seen the movie Flamenco (1995) about 5 times, Carmen (1983) upwards of 15 times, El Amor Brujo (1986) three times. The only of his flamenco movies that I didn’t care for and therefore only saw once in Salome(2002). So when news of a new flamenco movie popped up, I felt a little sceptical, for such a legacy is hard to beat.Carlos Saura has made many movies and in fact most of them are not about flamenco. I read somewhere that in his youth he attempted to learn to dance flamenco, but was told that he didn’t possess any talent and ended up quitting. It is when he combined his skills of film making and his love for flamenco dancing that magic happened. I can’t remember the source of this story and therefore can’t confirm it, so take it with a grain of salt. Somehow, from watching his movies I have a feeling that he is biased towards dancing inside the institution of flamenco that combines singers, musicians and dancers. His camera seems to dwell on each little gesture and move the dancer makes. The movie theater I went to at the Vancouver Film Festival was sold out. I was surprised by the large number of people who showed up to a matinee on a Tuesday. Who knew that Flamenco would so popular among regular people and not just flamenco crazy people like myself? Within the first 10 minutes of the movie all my guards were dropped and I watched the rest of the movie in a constant state of awe. Flamenco Flamenco combines so much star power that it makes a movie like Ocean 11 seem like a B rated movie featuring a bunch of unknown actors. All the best of the best, crème de la crème of the flamenco world are in this movie doing their thing. A Sara Bara’s performance was so electrifying that I found myself saying an involuntary WOW! at the end of it. At end of her number she blows the audience a kiss, I was so mesmerised by her dancing that I physically felt the kiss land on my cheek. No crazy 3D or 4D technology needed in her case. Eva Yerbabuena featured in two numbers, one traditional and the second a risk taking and innovative number that broke my heart and left me in awe of her artistry. Farruquito modulated his normal forceful dancing with elegance and a happy tranquility that I enjoyed. I was disappointed in the performance of Rocio Molina, who completely balled me over with her talent when I saw perform live a few years ago when I saw her dance live in Jerez. In this movie, she does a contemporary number which I found interesting but it didn’t tug at my emotions at all. Israel Galvan I never liked before and I still didn’t like in this movie. With Mr. Galvan it is a matter of personal bias. I know many who absolutely adore him and consider him a dance genius. I myself find his dancing smart, technical but lacking in expression. I can’t help myself, doesn’t matter how much I try to get his unique choreographies, his talent continues to elude me. In addition of some of the top dance talent the movie also has performance of famous singers such Estralla Morente, Nina Pastori, Miguel Poveda and Jose Merce. Estrella wins my award for best dress in the movie. She wore a crazy, gypsy, asymmetrical red and black dress that I couldn’t stop studying. Where can I get a dress like that? Estralla … if you are reading this, please give me that dress. Best shoes awards goes to the woman who was sitting to the left of Paco de Lucia doing palmas with him and singing a little. Which reminds that the movie also features some of the most famous guitarists in the world such as Paco de Lucia, Tomatito and Paolo Sanlucar. In addition to the all the amazing talent and artistry in the movie, there was the element of how it was filmed. Surrounded with blown up paintings and beautiful backgrounds, each number was surrounded with art work that fit the ambience of it. I felt that this added greatly to my enjoyment of the movie. Additionally, the camera seemed to capture all the right angels, singer’s expressions, closeups of footwork, all sorts of body gestures that show the film makers deep appreciation and understanding of the art form. This isn’t just a movie maker, this is a movie maker that understands the art form and know when to zero in on a hand making a delicate gesture and when to zoom out to show the whole group dynamic. This is a movie maker who perhaps never learned to dance like a pro, but certainly knows how to look at and appreciate the pros. If you hear that this movie is coming to your town, take my advice, don’t walk, RUN! to the theater to get your tickets. I left the movie breathless at witnessing so much condensed talent. This is the only movie I have watched where the audience was clapping after each number as if we were watching a live show. That is how good this movie is. Hard to believe that Carlos Saura could exceed himself, but exceed himself he did indeed.