400 Screens, 400 Blows is a weekly column that takes an in-depth look at the films playing below the radar, beneath the top ten, and on 400 screens or less.
This week I was thinking of two very different movies, both in need of a boost. One of my favorites of 2009 so far is Fados (1 screen), which I saw last year, but has happily received a theatrical release this year. Director Carlos Saura generally makes movies with music and dancing as a main theme, such as in his Oscar nominated films Carmen (1983) and Tango (1998). He's not mentioned very often with the names of the world's greatest filmmakers, but his films have recently earned the distinction of a Criterion DVD release (Cría cuervos) and a Criterion Eclipse DVD box set. Fados is more or less a collection of music videos, all performed in the Portuguese fado style. The music is very sentimental, passionate and sad, very often about poverty and lost loves.