28 November 1998 | Philby-3
The dance is the thing. Play on
Care to dance? Sally Potter, film director ("Orlando"), did, and fell in love with the Tango and Pablo Veron, one of its authentic Argentinian exponents. Pablo is a pretty sexy guy, and a bit younger than Sally, but by the end she's leading and he's following.(I'm not sure whether they actually get to do the horizontal tango.) In between we learn with Sally the intricacies of the dance as an expression of culture as well as personal affinity. There's not much of a story (a year in the life of an original and talented art film maker)but the Paris and especially Buenos Aires settings are evocative - the latter seems frozen in the 40s, when the economic tide went out for Argentina. No, the dance is the thing. Remember Zorba? "A Greek man dances for his soul." Sally dances like a moth drawn to a candle, but wears asbestos underwear and gets an interesting movie out of it. The black and white photography is luminous and completely appropriate, and the soundtrack a treasure trove of Tangos. Recommended for those interested in "romance" ie vertical and horizontal tangos though as I said the latter is merely hinted at. Not a film for people who want a compelling story.