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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Friday, May 30, 2014

entry arrow1:15 AM | Tango Cinema

I like it how dance can sometimes be used in film to telegraph drama. And for the movies, the tango seems to be the one type of dance to do exactly that. And it always seems to be "Por una Cabeza," the popular 1935 tango song with music by Carlos Gardel. There's something about this piece that seems to invite filmmakers to try to render their sense of drama and tension into the scene, man and woman battling it out on the dance floor.

The most popular example seems to be Al Pacino and Gabrielle Anwar's dance in Martin Brest's Scene of a Woman (1992), where the tango becomes a lesson in life.

In James Cameron's True Lies (1994), it becomes an introduction for deceit between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tia Carrere, offset later on by the comical rendition between him and Jamie Lee Curtis who plays his wife...

But it doesn't always have to be "Por una Cabeza," as in this crazy love dance between Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston in Barry Sonnenfeld's Addams Family Values (1993)...

Or in Stephan Elliot's Easy Virtue (2008) where the tango, at least for Colin Firth and Jessica Biel, becomes a gesture of salvation for a woman's reputation...

And sometimes, it doesn't even have to be the tango. Sometimes there's also waltz to signify a blossoming love affair, and a descent into scandal, as Joe Wright skilfully shows it in a virtuoso scene between Keira Knightley and Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Anna Karenina (2012)...

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