Camaron on Netflix (Full Version)

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Ricardo -> Camaron on Netflix (Jul. 20 2018 17:28:30)

There are actually 2 documentaries now up on netflix. The first is Camaron “the film”, as it pops up, it’s 1hr44min and pretty well done. It does have a weird tragic or overly dramatic vibe IMO, added to by the weird gravelly voice narrator. Of course it’s peppered by interviews and 50% of footage from Rito y Geografia. Certain important things are spliced out from Rito which I found misleading. Also, a clear animosity against PDL’s family is highlighted, though Paco himself is vindicated at the end of the film. Unlike the build up of La Busqueda to a very sad ending of a loveable guy, their attempt to do the same with Camaron falls flat IMO. Didn’t really see any new footage of camaron (other than high def of that Juerga on Rocio with Paco which is on youtube), except for some cool short clips from the recording of Potro Rabia y miel. You can see paco demonstrating first movement of Aranjuez to tomatito standing up with his guitar in the studio, it’s a great little moment. All in all, a good documentary for folks that want to be introduced to the subject and specifics of Camaron’s life and career.

The second documentary is a 6 part series, each episode is almost an hour long. THis is copying very much the filming style of Busqueda, using tons of photos where they are 3d’ed and zooming in to make it feel like a movie with stills. It makes me wonder if Paco’s son wasn’t involved? Anyway, the material is more well balanced than the film above, it shows many opinions of different view points. Those clipped out “smack talk” clips from Rito are purposefully inserted to show the very different opinions that were around, which is good IMO. I have only watch 4 episodes so far, but the one thing I REALLY don’t like is that historically, the thing jumps around all over the place in time. It is only helpful if you know the career timeline already, so you get to fill in interesting anecdotes and what not. My favorite, so far, was Jose Merce remembering the time in Madrid Farina, Porrina, and Caracol came in to the bar and had a fandango battle, announced Farina the winner, and looked at Merce and Camaron to sing next and they just kept their mouths shut and looked at the floor!!! [:D]. Also cool is the story about how Caracol said young Camaron would never be years later in a Juerga Camaron sang and they traded letras and Camaron kept pushing the cejllla higher until Caracol couldn’t make the key anymore. As musician we know having a certain range doesn’t mean you are good or bad singer, but it’s interesting point that in the Gitano culture, the competition here is about who was more blessed with gods gifts. Pretty amusing to me anyway.

In the end, I feel that both documentaries make cantaores in general look like a bunch of self centered ego maniacs...all of them. They never let the viewer experience the impact of a full letra or real musical moment’s all very short fragmented clips. I think the audience, especially a general audience, deserves to experience the cante in full, at least a single performance, to experience the real reason these singers were so great...IMO. As the examples of singing stand in the two film projects, I would be surprised if they inspire a new cante fans rather than have people going “what the hell did I just watch? Who the hell are these people that think they are so great??”

Lastly, the amount of material that drew upon Rito is yet an other testament to how truly amazing a treasure that series is. If you want to experience cante well presented, you can’t really get any better than what they did there in 1971-73 as far as capturing the greats, the opinions, and most importantly, the emotion of the cante.

gerundino63 -> RE: Camaron on Netflix (Jul. 20 2018 20:46:34)

Thanks Ricardo for your extensive report!
A good tip to wach on Netflix.

Leñador -> RE: Camaron on Netflix (Jul. 20 2018 20:49:44)

I watched the first episode a couple nights ago, it was excellent!

Sr. Martins -> RE: Camaron on Netflix (Jul. 21 2018 4:37:36)


“what the hell did I just watch? Who the hell are these people that think they are so great??”

That’s a daily thought in 2018. [:D]

henrym3483 -> RE: Camaron on Netflix (Jul. 21 2018 8:53:30)

it'll be interesting to watch, aint had time back. thanks for the indepth review ricardo, looking forward to it.

Ricardo -> RE: Camaron on Netflix (Jul. 21 2018 19:42:57)

Now that I just finished watching, just wanted to point out a couple of things. In the 6th and final episode of the documentary, you get the story again about the royalty issue. I think we discussed this thoroughly on Foro in the past. Anyway interesting to note how in the long film, they show Camaron saying how he wants to leave something to his family and was shocked to learn he did not own any of his recording rights. However in the episode 6 you get to see the “behind the scenes” footage where the director is coaxing him to say it, forcing him to say it and Camaron is quite annoyed and finally says, look why don’t YOU say it!!! He really didn’t want to make Pepe de lucia look bad, he knew that he didn’t really understand the deal clearly and didn’t want to cause trouble, but these people were forcing him....a real shame.

Basically I don’t like how these types of films portray the gypsies as these amazing ignorant artists....without the context of the real gypsy life they are trying to make something “cute” out of something that is very very profound, at least to me as an outside observer. Like how they tell the story of Quincy Jones, “please translate for me that Camaron moved my soul like nobody else and I am honored to be near him” through his locked backstage door, and Camaron is like “who is this negro???”.... I mean it’s supposed be cute, like the guy is unique and innocent, but it negates the whole story of the flamenco Gitano and their hard life IMO, and how his ignorance or apathy to these rock stars is NOT at all abnormal. I just find it in bad taste to put that up on the big screen without even more context. Again, Rito y geografia did things the right way IMO, and it’s a shame they can’t mimic that style in modern times.

JasonM -> RE: Camaron on Netflix (Jul. 21 2018 21:09:08)

I’m about through the first one. Thought it was kind of rushed with too much narration. But the narrator said himself “flamenco audiences are the hardest to please. Worse than opera”

henrym3483 -> RE: Camaron on Netflix (Jul. 23 2018 12:24:02)

Watched Camaron - flamenco y revolucion.

All in all, a very good production imho, it was very art oriented with alot of montages from animation etc. I found out a few things i never knew about camaron, (a fatal car accident amongst a few other things).

I think it was a good overview of his life, music and him as a person through the lens of friends and family.

one issue though is, is what he died from changes from story to story, in this he was alleged to have lung cancer, in camaron la pelicula, it was cancer of the spine.
I suppose it dosn't matter really, but i've heard everthing from HIV to a drug induced tumour as the cause of his death...more than likely all rumours etc

In addition, I think the film glossed over alot of his personal termoil, loves and affairs which made him the artist he was.

I note after Remedios Amaya coming out as saying she had an affair with him she became persona non grata in flamenco community...

Looking forward to watching the tv documentary series in installments.

rombsix -> RE: Camaron on Netflix (Jul. 23 2018 15:33:23)


drug induced tumour


henrym3483 -> RE: Camaron on Netflix (Jul. 24 2018 14:58:55)

I know, some said to me heroin if tainted can cause body tumours.
it's like elvis presleys and bruce lee's cause of death...there is always rumours.

etta -> RE: Camaron on Netflix (Jul. 24 2018 15:27:08)

Ricardo; thanks much for the information on the films. I did watch "Camaron", the film. I found it to be riveting and informative about many aspects of Spanish life.

Richard Jernigan -> RE: Camaron on Netflix (Jul. 24 2018 22:45:05)

Thanks for the tip Ricardo, just watched the first episode of Camaron Revolucion. I learned a lot and enjoyed it greatly, plan to watch the rest.


mrstwinkle -> RE: Camaron on Netflix (Jul. 27 2018 21:34:36)

I'm up to the end of episode 4 and enjoying the footage. However it feels a little evasive about the issues with drugs, car crash manslaughter, mistresses etc. Naturally enough, this is probably the price of entry to get interviews with his wife.

One little gem I didn't know till tonight was that he strummed upwards not down when playing guitar.

Mark2 -> RE: Camaron on Netflix (Aug. 3 2018 16:45:10)

Saw the first episode last night. Absolutely loved it. Been listening to Camaron for thirty plus years but never knew a lot of what was presented. My interest in flamenco has fluctuated over the years, and I have to say that show re-ignited some love. The cante does something that no other style of singing does for me. Joy and wonder.

I was on facebook last night reading a story about a girl singer who was bemoaning her one hit wonder status, complaining the record company lost interest after her one success. I watched the video of her hit, as well as her followup efforts. Decent but unremarkable voice, but what she was selling was her dance routine, and her sex appeal, as well as her me too pop tunes. Then I turned on the Camaron show, OMG what a difference. He sits in a chair and DELIVERS. What was also great was hearing his friends and fellow artists talk about his effect on them. The older vids from when he was a kid, and the accompaniment in particular, reminded me of the style of my first flamenco guitar teacher.

Leñador -> RE: Camaron on Netflix (Aug. 4 2018 0:02:52)

Agree completely Mark, when you're already a really big fan of someone it's really cool to hear about the minor(or maybe not so minor) details of their life. Childhood antics, who they looked up to, character making events etc..
We recently signed 4 more contracts at work so I'm on a hiring binge and working CRAZY hours so I plan to watch the rest soon but I want to wait till I cant give it proper attention.

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