GUITAR FESTIVAL – Paco de Lucía – The Journey – Her Majesty’s – 4K

By Peter Maddern

Born into a guitar family, with his development watched over assiduously by his father, by his 15th birthday Paco De Lucía had become a more than proficient flamenco player, steeped in Andalusian traditions. However, on a concert trip to New York he was encouraged by legends Sabicas and Mario Escudero to write his own music and develop his own style, advice he took to heart.

Paco de Lucía – The Journey is a superb documentary produced by his son, Curro Sánchez, which, thanks to volumes of recorded video from the past 50 years and quite intimate and open conversations with his father captured before his death two years ago, reveals the, at times, very problematic journey of a genius.

Not only did some unique style have to emerge, but Paco, like many other heretics of conventional wisdoms, needed to also stand firm against the criticism of industry leaders and commentators alike. For them he was a threat and a renegade but through a series of chance meetings and events, we see how various stages of the great’s career developed; from joining with singer Camarón to incorporating jazz and even box beats into his repertoire.

But beyond, as is made plain in the film, lay a skill and understanding of his instrument that facilitated both virtuosity and passion in his playing no matter the lengths of effort he went to surpass previous heights.

Sadly, it seems this documentary is yet to find Australian distribution but hopefully it will get included in a future Latino Film Fest or similar at the Palace for it is certainly worth the price of admission, if only for hearing the playing, the sounds of which are finely reproduced in it.

Kryztoff Rating    4K

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