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The Tango Lesson [DVD] [1997]

4.0 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Sally Potter, Pablo Verón, Morgane Maugran, Géraldine Maillet, Katerina Mechera
  • Directors: Sally Potter
  • Writers: Sally Potter
  • Producers: Cat Villiers, Christian Keller Sarmiento, Christopher Sheppard, Diane Gelon, Simona Benzakein
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 25 Jun. 2001
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005KIVN
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 49,031 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Film-maker Sally (Sally Potter) decides to take tango lessons while working on her latest screenplay. Her teacher is Pablo (real-life dance star Pablo Veron), and as the lessons progress the two fall in love. Sally promises to make Pablo a film star in return for his tuition, but their relationship deteriorates once the cameras start rolling.

From Amazon.co.uk

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 film-maker 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, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The positives first - some great music, especially Yo Yo Ma, some great dancing sequences, and some beautifully and aristically shot scenes . Almost entirely shot in black and white, the visuals are stunning, although the brief breaks to the colour scenes of Sally Potter's imaginative wanderings seem entirely superflous.

This is full on art house cinema, in which art comes way ahead of story or characterisation. For lovers of the tango, or students of cinematography, there is something worth watching, although the story line is weak and unbelievable and the acting worse.

Avoid unless you love very arty films and/or the tango filmed in black and white
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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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Format: VHS Tape
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film is a dance movie, but not like any I have seen before. It tells the story of a woman, played by Sally Potter, of a filmmaker who learns to dance tango. There are additional elements such as her on-off relationship with the other main character, Pablo, so that brought the characters to life. The film seemed remarkably personal, like a documentary of Sally's real life. This made it more believable.

I just started learning to dance tango when I came across this movie, so bought it on a whim. I am so very glad that I did. This is definitely a film to keep and watch again. The characters are so real, storyline is believable and the dancing is fantastic! Although the dance sequences are mesmerizing, this is not going to teach you to tango dance. For that I would suggest one of the instruction videos available on Amazon. I would highly recommend this film if you like watching tango dancing and you like a good story.
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Format: DVD
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.
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