Yet another year with yet another update.
2012 version can be found here.
2013 version can be found here.
An unabashed exercise in cinema stylistics, I Am Cuba is pro-Castro/anti-Batista rhetoric dressed up in the finest clothes. The film's four dramatic stories take place in the final days of the Batista regime; the first two illustrate the ills that led to the revolution, the third and fourth the call to arms which cut across social and economic lines.
We're losing our shit for CGI long takes when this movie exists?
Film #6 of Florin's Recommendations
“No, it’s not interesting senior.”
Camera enters the room, it moves around then exits through the window and goes floating over a crowded street. In another scene it moves around a room then moves out of the window, moves vertically to get to the bottom floor and then again moves around and finally follows a woman into the pool and goes under the water. How is that possible? I have no idea. The camera work is amazing, it moves in all possible ways and captures some bizarre images. A visually stunning movie and one that should be watched by anyone who seeks new experiences, one of the best cinematographies ever. Period.
But is that enough?…
Disclaimer: I was planning on writing more, but I just said "screw it" at some point. Sorry guys.
In some ways, I Am Cuba, Mikhail Kalatozov’s spectacularly ambitious visual masterpiece doesn’t deserve the label of propaganda. A dizzying parade of show-stopping imagery of a wholly unique breed, it is a breathtakingly original vision and an artistic achievement rivaled by a scarce few filmmakers. Each shot is a pure textbook demonstration of beautiful, luscious, exuberant cinematography that, in addition, supports its ardently pro-Castro message. In fact, to suggest that Kalatozov uses his camerawork as nothing more than a helpful (but disposable) tool would be grossly misleading; in a film with a script that one might half-expect to hear broadcasted on Soviet…
Not just a Bolshevik hallucination, but also a feverish ballet. Sure, it's propagandistic, but the outsized emotions are emphatically physical. The actors are dancing, acting out their drama in their movements, from the prostitute dancing in the club, to the revolutionary marching against any and all oppression. The camera, of course, is the prima ballerina.
She is Cuba, and oh how beautiful she is. One of the most aesthetically incredible works of art I've ever seen, this is a staggering confluence of realism and expressionism, somehow tying together disparate styles to create a visually vivid and narratively nebulous masterpiece that works as beautifully as an ode to its homeland as any film I've ever seen. It's a wonder that something so openly propagandist can transcend implicit political and philosophical viewpoints; whether you share the doctrines to which the film ideologically adheres, you can't help but be swept adrift its sea of semiotics. How beautifully moving are its four stories, how sadly indicative of the plight of the nation. Through the…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Yes, it's government propaganda.
Yes, it's a socialist film.
Yes, it can get a little naive and stereotypical.
But it's also one of the most beautiful films you'll ever see.
I would have loved to see a version of I Am Cuba without the Russian translation voice overs, but regardless, this film is a visual and cinematic feast and a beautiful representation of the people and culture of Cuba.
Very much of it's time whilst also being way ahead of it, this is a fascinating and thrilling propaganda piece that stands out for some incredible technicality. Even if you can't go with the politics the camerawork, editing and sound design are exceptional - some of the long takes are dizzying even today (without a hint of CGI!); moving through buildings, crops and flying through midair. I loved the musicality too, even if there's no actual music in a scene (quite rare) there's usually some kind of rhythm being produced.
The ending is a little too much on the Viva la revolución for my looking and lacks the intrigue and narrative drive of the rest of the film but other than that this is an essential watch.
For all of its pointed commentary and obviousness, the film is still, in a kind of endearing way that puts a smile underlined by awe on one's face, a euphoric and effervescent celebration of everything cinema can be, completely unashamed in the hyperactivity of its always evolving camera movement and subjects.
Speaking of Cuba, I decided to watch this extraordinary epic of the fall of the Cuban Dictatorship and the rise of the Revolution for the third thrilling time. Yes of course its propaganda but taken for what it is and was,there are many truths presented here, and lets not forget what Cuba was about in the 1950's under Batista's brutal long dictatorship.
The film is presented in four seamless segments showing us the hardships of the people and includes a long segment on the student uprising that features the only known actor (to me anyway) Sergio Corrieri as one of the student leaders. This film might be the most beautiful film I've ever seen, the scenes fluid and poetic simply…
Con una tecnica incredibile Soy Cuba riesce a riflettere uno stereotipo e a risultare comunque autentico. Raro caso di film imprescindibile.
Each element is wholly unique. Starting with it's peculiar identity and on into the photography, style, and political subject matter, I Am Cuba is one of the most singular contributions to cinema.
After Castro rose to power, there was a unified effort between Russians and Cubans to create great cinema together, something to celebrate the newly liberated country. The four stories of the film are threaded together by an angelic voice representing the spirit of Cuba, but the Russian influence really dominates. It's not Cuba's movie but Russia's fantasy of Cuba. It's a very special socio-political time capsule, but as a propaganda film it was a failure in both countries. As a piece of art it's a masterpiece.
This is one hell of a difficult movie to review. You have to put the style and the pure filmmaking away from the story, the acting and the characters more than perhaps with any other film.
Soy Cuba is a visceral masterpiece, it's camera movements are highly intricate and extremely complex. Well, that's not anything new because that's what this film is famous for. Some shots are just breathtaking, my mind boggles over the pure logistics behind the film. Oh well, I suppose you can do anything you want if you're backed by two communist states..
The films look is appealing just in that specific PR-kind of a way. The film sells Cuba as this anti-capitalistic paradise where the women…
I think this is one of the best shot movies I've seen and created a fantastic consistent mood throughout. The last story was a bit of a letdown cause the first three were much better with the one about the old man being the best
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