4 April 2014

Bradford International Film Festival: The Tango Lesson (1997)

Drama, Music, Romance,
1st April 2014
Bradford International Film Festival
Sally Potter
Sally Potter, Pablo Verón, Morgane Maugran

Following the success of Orlando, Sally Potter was offered work directing adverts, music videos, and other people’s scripts. Taking what she learned from this experience as her inspiration, The Tango Lesson deconstructs the filmmaking process itself. A kind of film, within a film, within a film. Potter stars as a version of herself, playing a director frustrated by meetings with Hollywood producers who try to turn her latest script into populist entertainment. We see parts of this planned film in the form of dream sequences, or rather day-dream sequences, in which the director plans out her surreal vision, a legless agent rushes round on a skateboard while his fashion models are shot dead one by one as a frenzied media hounds them. Taking a break from her script, Potter takes tango lessons with famed dancer Pablo Verón, playing a version of himself, the condition being that she make him a star in her next film. We watch as they form a bond, even competing in a dance competition together, and watch as they scout for locations for their planned film. It is never quite clear if the scenes are from the development of a film or if the scenes are from a finished version of the planned film but it all fits together nicely. The film looks wonderful too, as one would expect with the great Robby Müller as director of photography, at times it looks sublime. Couple this with the exhilarating choreography of the dance sequences and we have a small wonder of a film that is simply breathtaking.

Shane James

No comments:

Post a comment