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Tango Lesson [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Sally Potter, Pablo Veron, Naveira, Salas, Too
  • Directors: Sally Potter
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English, French, Spanish
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • VHS Release Date: March 16, 1999
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767800958
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #182,570 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Sally Potter's self-reflective film stars Potter (an actress and the director of Orlando), more or less as herself, learning to tango from master dancer Pablo Veron and considering making a film called The Tango Lesson. The film that we happen to be watching, however, is concerned largely with the delicious conflict between the politics of tango--the need for one partner, typically the woman, to yield to the other--and the expectations of the filmmaker to do things on her own terms. Can Potter simultaneously surrender and control for the duration of this circular project? The question is made more complicated by Veron's desire to be in one of Potter's films--in other words, to follow her lead. Potter may not be Veron's equal on the dance floor, but that isn't the point of this interesting movie and its provocative, internal debate. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

Good story, beautiful dancing.
Cheryl L. Devecka
It is a delightful story and filmed in a beautiful way.
Mrs P. Webster
If you like beautiful things, you'll like this movie.
Chris Charuhas (chris@usabletech.com)

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

84 of 87 people found the following review helpful By Vargiu Riccardo James on December 7, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I saw the Tango Lesson and found it a genuine work of Art. I recommend those who love good movies to watch this one. The Tango Lesson perhaps has a weak plot, but a film director isn't necessarily a story teller. The meta-narration which takes place in the Tango Lesson certainly makes this movie an advanced art product, which has nothing to do with the telling of actual occurrences, but rather focuses on the developing of Art itself in the mind and life of an Artist. In my opinion, one of the strong-points of this film is that it allows us to peek into the director's head, and see Art through her eyes (I can assure it's quite a sight). Some may interpret this film as an "exercise in self-indulgence," but personally, I think this approach misleading, in the age of the "Self." We're talking Art here, and Sally Potter is the Artist. Herself: no one else should be the starting point and centre of her own movie. The Lady knows how to direct, act, dance and sing: why shouldn't she do all of the above? I think she deserves much admiration: she's a well rounded Artist, and there aren't many! (Besides, as I've said already, to me the film is about Art and Life before anything else: the director uses her own experience and many skills to make a point and to get things done exactly how she wants them, but the movie isn't "about" Sally Potter.) Now to the point. The editing has character, it's intelligent, original, definitely not a Hollywood product. The photography is breathtaking - and eloquent: it says "the Tango Lesson is about Aesthetics, Beauty itself." The acting is honest, fresh, and charming. In my opinion, the acting is superb: Sally Potter really knows what measure and elegance are. The soundtrack is exquisite.Read more ›
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Collin Mitchell Kelley on January 9, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Director Sally Potter, who gave us the brilliant "Orlando, turns the camera on herself to give an intimate and often wrenching performance. Potter plays herself, a frustrated director desperately trying to finish a script she has no faith in. On a research trip to Paris, she sees Veron dancing the tango and instantly falls in love. She takes up the dance, and the story follows her around the world as she learns the art of the tango. The stunning camera work (shot mostly in black and white, but with haunting colour images as Potter imagines her screenplay coming to life)is breathtaking. There are so many moments of pleasure in this film: Potter and Veron dancing the tango along the Seine in Paris, in the rain in Argentina and in an abandoned barbershop. The soundtrack is a must as well. A masterpiece.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Chris Charuhas (chris@usabletech.com) on November 17, 1998
Format: VHS Tape
Most dance movies obscure the actual dancing in a barrage of MTV-quick-cut shots of heads and feet. This one doesn't. Why not? Because it doesn't have to. The dancers are terrific, and shooting them full-length, with the camera on them for minutes at a time, shows them and the Tango to advantage.
After a distracting yet stylish introduction, the movie settles down into its intelligent portrayal of two exceptional people learning to love each other and dance together. The director wisely keeps the dialogue to a minimum, and lets the dancing tell the story. And what dancing! The Tango is a captivating dance to begin with, and these folks dance it with grace and passion.
Pablo Veron has more screen presence than any other actor alive, and he's a world-class dancer to boot. Sally Potter, the movie's director who plays his partner is also an excellent tanguera. Did I say it before? The dancing is amazing!
From the parks of Paris to the Tango salons of Buenos Aires, the characters speak to each other in French, Spanish, and English. This ain't Hollywood fare. No car chases, no pulling of heart strings, no wacky characters. Just striking cinematography, a fine, spare script, and delightful dancing. If you like beautiful things, you'll like this movie.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 24, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
I absolutely loved it because it's an adult love story told from an adult point of view. The two main characters have strong personalities, and because of their occupations, are used to being in control. They learn that in life, sometimes you lead and sometimes you follow. The cinematography is perfect; you only see what needs to be on screen, nothing superfuous. The same can be said about the dialogue. Sally Potter was involved in every aspect of her film: directing, writing, acting, dancing, writing music/lyrics, and singing. There is great chemistry between the two main characters and the music and dancing are wonderful. You won't be sorry you purchased it. The music will make you raptuous and the dancing will inspire you to dance.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 26, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
This is possibly one of the best films ever made, simply marvelous in its focus on a love relationship, the self-definition as an artist and of course, the tango itself. It's a profound, delightful movie-I must have seen it six times by now, and it has not lost any of its beauty. I do not particularly like the short flashes of Sally's imagination while struggling for ideas, but the colors and the coiffures offer a nice contrast to the mostly rather subdued black and white scenes. The scene where Sally and Pablo talk about being Jewish is very moving and adds a little social consciousness to the otherwise escapist atmosphere. Finally, one of things that impressed me most is the fact that apart from two kisses, there are no sexual scenes in the film-the erotical element in the dancing scenes is certainly there, but it is never as dominant as the struggle for balance, understanding and creation. By the way, I was a little disappointed to see that my male friends did not share the emotional reaction to this film that I invariably found in my girlfriends.
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