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Danzon (1991)

Victor Carpinteiro , Blanca Guerra , Maria Novaro  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Victor Carpinteiro, Blanca Guerra, Jorge Martinez, Jorge Moreno, Martha Navarro
  • Directors: Maria Novaro
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: FACETS
  • DVD Release Date: November 27, 2007
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000VJ3E44
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #288,476 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Mexican film legend Maria Rojo stars in this delicately crafted drama as Julia, a single mother employed as a telephone operator. The high point of her week is to relax at the danzon, a weekly dance where dancing partners needn't be romantic partners. When Julia s regular partner an older man whose courtesy and politeness she values turns up missing, she travels to Veracruz to search for him. In the course of her quest, she ends up finding herself. Rojo offers a subtle portrait of an everyday woman who faces trouble in order to uncover her strengths.
Award-winning director Maria Novaro (Lola; The Garden of Eden) reveals a fondness for the tradition of the danzon, and for Mexico's singers and songs of the '40s and '50s. Her celebration of popular traditions from Mexico s past is contagious.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a remarkably evocative and sublime Mexican tale! January 13, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I bought this DVD as soon as I saw it came available and was not disappointed. On the surface, the story consists of a single middle-aged mother (Maria Rojo) who works as a Mexico City phone operator and enjoys spending her weekends bailando Danzón (a Caribbean sort of ballroom dancing with Franco-Haitian roots from Cuba). One day her dance partner leaves town, throwing her life out of rhythm (some might say into a menopausal crisis), from which she heads off to Veracruz to look for him. That's basically the whole story, but it's what lies beneath which really makes the film special.

Director Maria Novarro was one of the bright stars of Mexico's cinematic revival of the 1990s, which would give rise to the explosion of Novo Cine Mexicana at the end of that decade. Danzón is full of evocative references to great films from Mexico's history, in particular the preclassic The Woman of the Port aka La Mujer del Puerto, and Emilio Fernandez's towering Epoca Dorada classic Salon Mexico [NTSC/REGION 1 & 4 DVD. Import-Latin America] (as well as Victimas del Pecado). Little things like the Russian sailor remind one of the days when Eisenstein, Boytler, and Trotsky spent some of their happiest days in swing era Mexico. But Novarro also evokes the subtly underlying emotion and deep humanism (itself inspired by the films of French poetic realism from the 1930s), which was at the heart of Fernandez's films.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Danzon April 19, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
This movie is worth watching! It has fantastic acting and a great storyline. It about a woman, Julia, and the dance, Danzon. The dance is much like her life, very rigid and controlled. After Julia's partner of many years stopped showing up for their usual dance, she worries and leaves to go find him. Her journey takes her to Veracruz. There she meets many delightful people who try to help her find him. After she has a love affair with a younger man, she leaves to go back home. While she is on her journey, she discovers a lot about herself and who she is. She left not only to find her partner, but to find herself as well. This movie is great for anyone who is willing to take a risk to find themselves!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting! March 15, 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This movie is one of my absolute favorites! A must see for anyone who has ever gone in search of a little spice and adventure in their lives! Terrific true to life story, terrific script, terrific acting! If only everyone could be brave enough to leave their droll boring existences long enough to REALLY follow their hearts -- this movie made me want to go hop the next plane to Veracruz and learn the hypnotic Danzon rhythm! The unforgettable characters and the experiences the main character has during her quest for her dance partner will stay in your memory long after you have turned off your vcr!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Veracruz, Maria Rojo, danzon, what else is there? March 5, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
One of my all time favorites. If you don't have the time to visit the fabulous port of Veracruz, watch this video. It captures the essence of Mexico.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Effects of dancing the danzón October 9, 2006
Format:VHS Tape
I would advise any cinefile with a human heart and an appreciation of true art to disregard all reviews (including this one), watch the movie, and judge for himself; lest he miss a unique and uniquely profound experience.

The film is a timeless thing of beauty, strikingly original, grounded in true human-ness, at times moving, at times bitter-sweet, but always real; and it leaves no trace of current cockamamie ideologies about women or other political korrectness: it is about real life, or sober fantasy.

Directed by a woman, most definitely not a "chick flick". The furthest thing from a "romance novel", though many superficial viewers seem unable to tell the (huge) difference. I would also say that it is sex-neutral. It says as much to men as to women. (I am one of the former, and no sentimentalist.)

A reviewer somewhere described the plot thus (or thereabouts): the search for a disappearing dance partner turns into a voyage of self-discovery. This is hard to improve upon, so I will expand on it instead.

Carmelo is young Julia's middle-age danzón dance partner, and they are a prize winning "strictly dancing" couple in Mexico City. He misses the regular Wednesday socials several times without warning. Worried Julia, unable to hear from or about him in Mexico City, takes money out of her savings and goes off trying to pick up Carmelo's trail. She did not find him, but found plenty else.

The scene that most moved me is near the end, when Julia meets Carmelo again at the regular ball on another Wednesday, and seemingly everything gets ... back to normal.

When the film hit the USA movie theaters (1992), Janet Maslin of the New York Times titled her obtuse review "A Melodious Variation On Feminist Awareness". Fortunately, no such crap, no caca like that at all.

Raúl Clímaco
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The eroticism made dance! January 22, 2005
Format:VHS Tape
This original work is an arresting feminist tale about a middle aged woman who rejoins with her forgotten sensuality , performing a ballroom dance known at the danzon.

The hidden codes immersed in this typical Latin American rhythm will become a reborn of the affective world of this woman , giving back her new reasons to live and love.

Interesting premise to explore the intimacies of the beloved and few times unspoken feminine universe.
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