Excellent Flamenco Film on Youtube!

My good friend, Tomas de Utrera, recently sent me info about a really interesting film that is on youtube.com, showing in 10 parts, each 8 to 10 minutes long.  It is called “Flamenco: A Personal Journey” and is made by Tao Ruspoli.  He’s a young American who goes to Sevilla in the late 1990’s to study guitar and chronicles his adventures.  It is very charming and has great footage of some of the gone or soon to be gone oldtime flamencos.

Most notable is the great footage of Paco Valdepeñas dancing, singing and just being his utterly original, incredibly charming self.  In some odd way, he reminded me of my own father, who was born in 1920 and passed in 1998.  Paco Valdepeñas was born in 1922 and is shown dancing and carrying on in 1998—he then passed in the year 2000.  This added a special poignancy to an already deeply engaging film.

The conversation that most sticks in my head is when several of the guys are in a church and gazing at a crucifix that has Jesus’ image modeled after that of a prominent flamenco.  One of the young gitanos states that one needs to play the guitar with the same heaviness that Jesus felt carrying the cross.   Now, I am not at all a religious man, but I loved that analogy—that sense of peso–of weight—is so important in the toque.  I just never heard it expressed in that way and I love the metaphor.

I highly recommend this film!