You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Morente

"Morente" is a flawed swan song.

With:
With: Enrique Morente, Estrella Morente, Solea Morente, Jose Enrique Morente , Aurora Carbonell.

“Morente” is a flawed swan song. Perhaps the greatest flamenco singer of modern times, Enrique Morente died in December, just a week after shooting completed. Built around his last recording, an homage to Pablo Picasso, this docu features reminiscences, interviews with Morente’s family and footage of a friend of Picasso’s with whom Morente was fascinated — none of which prove as engrossing as the music, presented here via two stunning 2010 live performances. Hispanic-themed fests will take an interest, with limited arthouse play a possibility in Ibero-friendly territories.

A tenor with a clear, pure voice that gave him an appeal beyond that of the traditional flamenco singers, Morente is most famous for his pioneering fusions with other musical styles, particularly his classic album “Omega,” which features versions of Leonard Cohen songs.

Docu begins with some history, including the story of Eugenio Arias, who met Picasso in exile and became one of his best friends. Arias’ story is probably worth a full docu in itself, rather than the cursory overview it gets here. The camera follows the Morente family around the Albacain district of Granada, drops in at rehearsals and records brief, uninteresting interviews with Morente’s wife and three children, all flamenco singers themselves. Coverage barely scratches the surface of its subject, and the only worthwhile scenes are those featuring Morente and his daughter Estrella singing together in the Arab baths in Granada, as well as a few fly-on-the-wall moments from rehearsals that will fascinate buffs.

Much of this screen time would have been better used to show more of the concerts Morente gave in Buitrago, near Madrid, and at Barcelona’s Liceo in 2010. (The Buitrago sequences are in black-and-white, shot against the backdrop of an Arab wall.) Thought to be among Morente’s finest performances, they are stunning in their intensity and beauty, and rep obligatory viewing for anyone interested in flamenco. At one point, Morente’s accompanying singers stare open-mouthed in wonder at the bravura of his vocal performance.

Picasso’s antiwar masterpiece “Guernica” figures as a leitmotif: One striking scene has the singer howling passionately at the painting, while one of the featured songs is called “Guerna-Irak.”

Docu also features the singer’s final recorded performance, a passionate interpretation of Antonio Vega’s “Fallen Angel,” accompanied by the Argentinean pianist Federico Lechner, which was lensed the day before Morente went into the hospital.

Morente

Spain

Production: A Piramide Films release of an Ircania Producciones production in association with Universal Music, Carisma Films, Canal Sur. (International sales: Piramide, Madrid.) Produced by Marta Lozano. Executive producer, Emilio R. Barrachina. Directed by Emilio R. Barrachina. Written by Barrachina, Enrique Morente.

Crew: Camera (color/B&W), Ismael Issa; editor, Carlos Padilla; music supervisor, Enrique Morente; sound (Dolby Digital), Carlos Martos, Sergio Munoz. Reviewed at Sala Berlanga, Madrid, April 15, 2011. Running time: 86 MIN.

With: With: Enrique Morente, Estrella Morente, Solea Morente, Jose Enrique Morente , Aurora Carbonell.

More Film

  • 'United Skates' Review

    Tribeca Film Review: 'United Skates'

    “Morente” is a flawed swan song. Perhaps the greatest flamenco singer of modern times, Enrique Morente died in December, just a week after shooting completed. Built around his last recording, an homage to Pablo Picasso, this docu features reminiscences, interviews with Morente’s family and footage of a friend of Picasso’s with whom Morente was fascinated […]

  • A Quiet Place

    'A Quiet Place' Sequel in the Works at Paramount

    “Morente” is a flawed swan song. Perhaps the greatest flamenco singer of modern times, Enrique Morente died in December, just a week after shooting completed. Built around his last recording, an homage to Pablo Picasso, this docu features reminiscences, interviews with Morente’s family and footage of a friend of Picasso’s with whom Morente was fascinated […]

  • Adam Aron AMC

    AMC Chief Talks MoviePass, Saudi Arabia, and the Health of the Theater Business

    “Morente” is a flawed swan song. Perhaps the greatest flamenco singer of modern times, Enrique Morente died in December, just a week after shooting completed. Built around his last recording, an homage to Pablo Picasso, this docu features reminiscences, interviews with Morente’s family and footage of a friend of Picasso’s with whom Morente was fascinated […]

  • Carlos Stevens' Spec 'Zero' Optioned By

    Carlos Stevens' Spec 'Zero' Optioned By Imagine Entertainment and Animal Logic (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Morente” is a flawed swan song. Perhaps the greatest flamenco singer of modern times, Enrique Morente died in December, just a week after shooting completed. Built around his last recording, an homage to Pablo Picasso, this docu features reminiscences, interviews with Morente’s family and footage of a friend of Picasso’s with whom Morente was fascinated […]

  • Amber Heard Run Away With Me

    Amber Heard Joins Elisabeth Moss in Drama 'Her Smell' (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Morente” is a flawed swan song. Perhaps the greatest flamenco singer of modern times, Enrique Morente died in December, just a week after shooting completed. Built around his last recording, an homage to Pablo Picasso, this docu features reminiscences, interviews with Morente’s family and footage of a friend of Picasso’s with whom Morente was fascinated […]

  • 'Diane' Review: Mary Kay Place Is

    Tribeca Film Review: Mary Kay Place in 'Diane'

    “Morente” is a flawed swan song. Perhaps the greatest flamenco singer of modern times, Enrique Morente died in December, just a week after shooting completed. Built around his last recording, an homage to Pablo Picasso, this docu features reminiscences, interviews with Morente’s family and footage of a friend of Picasso’s with whom Morente was fascinated […]

  • Felicity JonesFocus Features presentation, Arrivals, CinemaCon,

    How Felicity Jones Transformed Herself Into Ruth Bader Ginsburg for 'On the Basis of Sex'

    “Morente” is a flawed swan song. Perhaps the greatest flamenco singer of modern times, Enrique Morente died in December, just a week after shooting completed. Built around his last recording, an homage to Pablo Picasso, this docu features reminiscences, interviews with Morente’s family and footage of a friend of Picasso’s with whom Morente was fascinated […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content