Tango Argentino > Movies About Tango

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by DanceMentor, Feb 21, 2003.

  1. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    A friend of mine who's seen Daywatch (or is it Nightwatch? Whatever, the second movie in the series) says one of the characters tangos someone to death...not sure how that works, as I haven't seen the flick.
  2. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Omg. I guess I'll have to re-watch that movie.
  3. piimapoika

    piimapoika Member

    Finland, as any Finn will tell you, is the home of the tango. Here are some Finnish tango-related films:

    Onnen maa (happy land). Set in and around a rustic dance hall where nothing but tangos are played, it is described as a nostalgic comedy; although with vicious duffing-up scene (fortunately off-screen) and the death of the grandfather it is hardly Carry On Tangoing. But it is a pleasant, and allegedly accurate, picture of the rural tango scene in the 60’s.

    It is the supporting programme of a two-film DVD. The main feature is Badding, which is about the adventures of reluctant rock star Rauli “Badding” Somerjoki. All he wants is to be left alone to read comics, but he is chased across the idyllic Finnish countryside by detectives and others and manhandled onto the stage by heavies. Although the music is described as rock, I would call it middle of the road. No tango content though.

    Aki Kaurismäki directed these films with at least one tango scene:

    Tulitikkutehtaan tyttö (Match Factory Girl), 1990, stars Kati Outinen as a young girl who has a rotten job in a match factory, supporting her useless parents. She goes to a dance where Reijo Taipale sings the classic Finnish tango Satumaa. The words are on the lines of "there's a beautiful fantasy land far away, and I can't get to it." Nobody asks her to dance. Later she meets a chap, who gets her pregnant, then doesn't want to know. Everything goes downhill from there. At the end, when her world, such as it is, is completely destroyed, Olavi Virta, generally regarded as Finland's Carlos Gardel, sings Kuinka saatoitkaan? (How could you?). "You've destroyed the flower of love with your hard eyes and chilly smile." A depressing film. Industrial archaeology buffs will enjoy the shots of old matchmaking machinery. You can see I'm struggling to be positive here.

    Mies vailla menneisyyttä (Man without a Past), 2002, is much more uplifting. Markku Peltola stars as a man who loses his memory after a vicious mugging. He is befriended by a poor family who live in what appears to be an abandoned container. But with no name, and worse still no social security number, he cannot find a job. Fortunately the Salvation Army helps him, and he even finds love, with Kati Outinen. Their awkward, almost silent courtship (they are Finns after all) is a delight. The tango comes in when he decides the Salvation Army band needs to update its repertoire with something more modern - such as tango. They play Pieni sydän (Little Heart). Veteran tango star Annikki Tähti sings that the human heart is a small object, but it can hold huge quantities of love, passion, etc.

    Tangos appear as background music in some of Kaurismäki's other films, such as Varjoja paratiisissa (Colours of Paradise), a romance between a dustman and a checkout girl (Matti Pellonpää and Kati Outinen).

    Two films by Aku Louhimies have tango episodes. Levottomat (Restless) has the shortest ever at about 28 seconds (1 hr 36 min 43 sec into the film), with a tango played at a wedding party. This is rudely interrupted when it is discovered that the hero, played by Mikko Nousiainen, has been bonking not only the bride but also the vicar (who is a woman, in case you were wondering). The director's wife, Laura Malmivaara, also stars as the hero's long-suffering girlfriend.

    Laura Malmivaara also stars in Kuutamolla (By Moonlight) as a married woman who still carries a torch for a tango dancer she once met in Buenos Aires. Deleted scene 16 "Rome and Buenos Aires" is longer, better, and has more tango content than the sequence actually used in the film.

    Tango Kabaree has been described as Finland's answer to "Moulin Rouge". Both are set in theatres, and both have tall, slim, beautiful, red-haired heroines. Both are surreal, one more so than the other.

    Directed by Pekka Lehto in 2001, the film tells of an impresario, played by Martti Suosalo, who wishes to produce a show "Tango Kabaree" on the life of dancer and model Aira Samulin, still at the top at the age of 73. Aira is successful and well-loved, but there have been much sadness in her life as well. Her father was killed during the war, her little sister died in infancy, the family home was overrun by Russians, her daughter (played by the real-life Pirjo Samulin) has a mental illness - but the impresario wants to cut all this out and concentrate on the happy stuff. Naturally Aira is not pleased at the sanitisation of her life.

    There is plenty I don't understand. Why is there an antique steam train in modern Helsinki? Who's the scruffy guy in the stovepipe hat? What's the significance of the giant fibreglass seahorses? Not an awful lot of tango music - there is probably just as much 1970's disco. Recommended for those who like things a bit weird.

    All these films are Finnish language and have English subtitles. Minä soitan sinulle illalla (I'll ring you in the evening) doesn't, so you need to know at least some Finnish. Directed by Armand Lohikoski, it tells of a factory girl Anneli Sauli who asks boss Olavi Virta for a tango at the works dance. The boss's domineering mother will not allow her son to accept, so Anneli takes to ringing him up at night. If made today, the movie would probably become a bunny-boiling bloodfest, but this is a 1954 romantic comedy and everything ends happily.
  4. spot

    spot New Member

    Tango and Cash.

    I think.
  5. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Madonna's "Drowned World Tour" is a concert movie, so maybe it counts. I rented it because of one number "Don't Tell Me" that I had seen years ago on Dick Clark's Rockin New Years Eve. This number, and several of the following ones had a country western theme.
    Meanwhile, remember "Don't Cry for Me Argentina"? I'm going to guess that was what inspired one number that featured Argentine Tango fantasia dancing. I'd say it was up to the standard of Las Vegas stage shows. In other words, you could tell they were dancing choreography, and the postures, exchange of energy, or lack thereof, etc, was obvious. Nevertheless, it was readily identified as AT fantasia.
    It seems that there are lots of choreographers who are familiar with the look of AT.
    Now, if only SYTYCD would at least hire one of them, if not someone who really knows the dance.
  6. Heather2007

    Heather2007 New Member

    For the life of me I do not know the name of the film - but it was one which my then boyfriend and I stumbled over years back after arriving home in the early hours following a boozy night out. Immediately, diving for the TV a film was running which we immediately saw was sub-titled. He was about to switch over until I spotted a beautiful man suddenly appeared into a scene and started to execute a beautiful piece of solo-dancing in front of another. Immediately taking charge of the remote-control for myself, I settled back and watched this same man perform a beautiful dance in front of another. When he finally stopped dancing he turned around and killed the other man. My boyfriend now was hooked. It was a dark, intense, I think Spanish movie and involved a paid assassin that always tango'ed Argentine stylie before he carried out his mission. The only thnig I clearly remember of the movie was the dancing and the man. Sadly, not the film title. Didn't know anything about AT at the time but now that I dance would love to watch it again. Familiar to anyone and if so, the name?
  7. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

  8. piimapoika

    piimapoika Member

    Well, it's not easy to tell when a Finn is pulling your leg, but I have been told perfectly seriously by several different people that the tango was invented in Finland. I had lessons in Finnish dancing from Leena Blomqvist of Helsinki in 2002, and she told me that the tango is a Finnish dance, based on crosscountry skiing.
  9. pascal

    pascal Active Member

    No no, a touring argentine made a demo in front of the reigning Finnish people near 1913 and from there it became very popular. Also it developped as a different tango branch than the Bs-As tango.
  10. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    that's very funny... lol
  11. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    "Leena Blomqvist of Helsinki ... told me that the tango is a Finnish dance, based on crosscountry skiing."
    As a former avid cross country skier, I had to laugh out loud over this one.
    They say laughing is good for you, so thanks for this one.
    On the other hand, Finnish Tango is a Finnish invention. But Finnish Tango is not Argentine Tango.
  12. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    Tango is an Argentine invention. However, "Finnish Tango," a version from the original Argentine Tango, was indeed invented in Finland.

    Here's a blurb:
  13. plugger

    plugger Member

    Scent of a Woman was a really good movie, and Pacino was fine as always, but that scene sure didn't look much like AT.
  14. criannon

    criannon New Member

    I really enjoyed 'El Ultimo Bandoneon' and also this french movie 'Je ne suis pas là pour être aimé' aka 'Not here to be loved'. I think they are both worth watching.
  15. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Actually, that was a good example of tango as it was danced in the Ragtime Era.
  16. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Scent of a Woman

    Isn't it actually ballroom tango? Or American tango?

    I've never seen it, but that's what I've heard.
  17. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Ragtime Tango was a predecessor to the stylized ballroom tango. If you watch it and compare it to modern ballroom, I think you'll notice a dramatic difference.
  18. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    One of these days, I'll get around to watching it, hopefully.
  19. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

  20. tangobro

    tangobro Active Member

    "Tango" by Carlos Saura

    "Tango baile nuestro" by Jorge Zanada

    the BBC documentary "La Confiteria Ideal"

    'Je ne suis pas là pour être aimé' Stéphane Brizé


    "Assassination Tango" (just for the dance scenes)


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