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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, beautifully filmed. Wonderful dance sequences!
This film is definately worth watching. It has a wonderful mood, great energy and intensity. It is a clever chronicle of a woman filmaker's process of creating. It is also a stylish love story, brimming with creativity. The dance sequences are breath taking and the music is top quality; together they highlight all the power struggles and antagonisms expressed within...
Published on 16 Jun 2000

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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Some good dancing but uninteresting over long film
The Tango Lesson is for Argentine tango lovers only and even then, only if they fast forward throught he boring bits. (There are many...many...many). I thought Sally Potter had an uninteresting method of acting with close ups of an expressionless face. There were many great dancers int his film but they all seemed to be pushed aside to allow the her to take up the screen...
Published on 16 Oct 2010 by Robert


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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, beautifully filmed. Wonderful dance sequences!, 16 Jun 2000
By A Customer
This film is definately worth watching. It has a wonderful mood, great energy and intensity. It is a clever chronicle of a woman filmaker's process of creating. It is also a stylish love story, brimming with creativity. The dance sequences are breath taking and the music is top quality; together they highlight all the power struggles and antagonisms expressed within the script. This is a multilayered, moody and intelligent film which takes you on board a journey you never, ever want to leave...enjoy!
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'A sublime film about the sensuous tango.', 23 Aug 2005
By 
F. V. L. Buliciri (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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What a marvellous film. Sally Potter captures the vitality, eroticism and sensuality of the tango so vividly in her film 'The Tango Lesson.'I liked the way Sally Potter portrayed her own love affair and fascination with the tango by starring in the film herself. You could feel her being changed as a person by the passion and electricity of this dance throughout the film and therefore see the magical effect that dance in any form can have upon the individual.
The romantic nature of the tango was depicted quite well with Sally falling in love with her tutor Pablo(Internationally acclaimed tango dancer Pablo Veron). I felt so estatic and alive when I watched the scene where Sally and Pablo were dancing the tango by the riverside in Paris on a winter's evening and it snowed shortly afterwards. It was one of those moments in film that are so special it lives on in your memory forever. I love the tango and Sally Potter's film is a wonderful tribute to this spectacular dance. For anyone who wants to see a good dance film about the tango I highly recommend this film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sight to Behold, 18 Nov 2011
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This review is from: The Tango Lesson [IMPORT] (DVD)
I saw this years ago and bought it recently. It's a joy to watch the exhibition of dancing - it's a crap story, but Tango lovers won't care about that.
By the way, my copy from Amazon is in Dutch (but who needs to understand the dialogue).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING, 24 Nov 2009
By 
V. Pogioli "VITO" (DORSET/GREAT BRITAIN) - See all my reviews
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I HAVE SEEN A FEW TANGO FILMS BUT THIS ONE BEATS THEM ALL. AT THE BEGINNING I DIDNT KNOW WHERE I WAS BUT ONCE THE STORY UNRAVELLED I WAS HOOKED! SO MUCH SO THAT I AM NOW LEARNING ARGENTIN TANGO. JUST ONE WORD FOR THIS FILM: 'FABULOUS'. VITO
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars virtually perfect!, 15 April 2011
This review is from: The Tango Lesson [IMPORT] (DVD)
this is a really great film, a good addition to any movie library!
I've watched it several times and each time I notice new small details. A really well considered, quality and timeless film. It hasn't aged at all and the switch between colour & black & white is really affective.

The only downside is that my disc didnt offer subtitles, so unless you speak French you have to rely on the context to understand whats going on - that said, it's pretty clear and the dance scenes need no explanation!
totally enjoyable and suitable for everyone.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb images revealing an emotional depth, 9 Jun 2001
The first thing that struck me was the visual patterns - cool, spare, and smooth, but then a burst of rhythm, echoing the visual impact of the tango. Every hint in the plot or dialogue of the mental and emotional state of the main character was reinforced by the images (for example, the shot down onto the precisely aligned blank white paper on the the blank white table). Emotionally it was very satisfying: uplifting with nothing sickly or cloying, and a final surge of music and dance which went onwards forever into the future.
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30 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite a sight, 20 Aug 2003
By 
Vargiu Riccardo James (Bologna, Italy) - See all my reviews
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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 spiraling 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, while touching on a series of parallel topics.
Some may interpret this film as an "empty exercise in self-indulgence," but personally, I find this approach misleading, especially 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 center 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, Life and the relations between the two - e.g. the tango as a representation of the male/female social "role playing" - 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. In my opinion, the fact this film allows us to peek into the director's head, and see Art through her eyes (I can assure it's quite a sight!), is one of its strong points, not one of its faults.
The apparent conflict between two Art forms (dance and cinema) - which, in my opinion, is one of the themes developed in this film - on the one hand highlights the difficulty which people are confronted with when having to understand and recognize as worthy something they're not familiar with, the need to change perspective and see or feel Art, rather than simply discharge whatever they don't understand as an inferior form of artistic creation, and on the other shows that in the end the similarities between the Arts are greater and more profound than the differences: "Perhaps all along Jacob had simply been wrestling with himself..." Difficulties spring up when the desire to lead doesn't allow one to ever follow, when the need to be looked at won't let one see. Changing perspective for a minute, and letting someone else lead the game, can be enough to prove the Arts are really only different ways of signifying the same thing. Art is Art: the creation - by means of self-discipline, abstraction, and finally inspiration - of something beautiful and fertile, that touches and gives life to the human heart, that makes us feel less beastly, something morally edifying as a consequence of the Beauty it surrounds us with. The lesson to be learned from this, I think, is that respect and the willingness to follow can open the door to the understanding of Art as well as of others.
Far from being a mere celebration of the director, in my opinion this movie also deals with a lot more than just the tango. To me, this movie is about self-control, discipline and abstraction. And through abstraction, it's about the strength deriving from calmness, the quickness only slowness can assure, the music only silence can give birth to. It's about the "Reasoning Power" we - as human beings - are provided with: the sixth sense which allows us to pierce the surface of things and find Beauty, Perfection. To Reason means to See, find some kind of Truth and therefore free our shadowed consciences. What this means to me is that having an "aesthetic" approach to life doesn't imply being "superficially appreciative of appearances," but that, on the contrary, it can be a key to spirituality.
Even in experiencing love, it seems to me that Sally tries to uplift its irrational essence to Art's state of perfection and balance. Passion seeps through Sally's "high need for cognition," becoming something intelligible, that "makes sense." The human faculty of loving has to cooperate in fulfilling "destiny," rather than in letting "case" follow its course. Love, being life's natural vehicle of energy and therefore of creative powers, is looked at as something fundamental, but only as it is heightened to the status of a work of Art... So life is used as the indispensable platform for artistic take-off. But from the very beginning, what Sally does - both in the movie and in directing it - is exert her will and strength, constantly struggle to reach perfection. Inspiration is found neither through self-indulgence nor through love's bliss and oblivion, but through concentration and finally abstraction. In this sense, The Tango Lesson is a religious movie, an exercise in the metaphysics of Art.
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. The tango pieces are great, and so is the leitmotiv of the movie: the seagull-like cry in the airport scene ("Doyna") tears my heart out every time I listen to it (it's also the one track that made me decide to buy the CD).
This film, someone said, has little to offer the general public. I'm afraid this might be accurate. Or rather, "the general public" - that, for the most part, is fed upon fast-food movies - probably has neither the adequate means nor the desire to tackle this art-movie, which I don't believe was meant to give easy answers to difficult questions (like so many other films) but to make people think. Nonetheless, seeing this movie made me realize all over again that it's definitely worth trying.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Some good dancing but uninteresting over long film, 16 Oct 2010
By 
Robert (Uxbridge, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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The Tango Lesson is for Argentine tango lovers only and even then, only if they fast forward throught he boring bits. (There are many...many...many). I thought Sally Potter had an uninteresting method of acting with close ups of an expressionless face. There were many great dancers int his film but they all seemed to be pushed aside to allow the her to take up the screen. Don't spend money on this.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Tango with little plot, 6 April 2014
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I originally purchased this video having seen the clip of Sally Potter dancing to Libertango played by YoYo Ma.
The film is rather insubstantial in that there is little in the way of plot and is probably one for followers of Sally
Potter only!
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5.0 out of 5 stars I just love it, 9 Jan 2014
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The tango music is very sensitive, and the dancers just wonderful. The the whole team of actors are doing a great job.
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The Tango Lesson [DVD]
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