Movies that are slightly off.
I am Cuba
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?…
Never since Sergei Eisenstein helmed the great Battleship Potemkin has propaganda film charged to the top of the mantel, setting the bar for the medium. Mikhail Kalatozov, employed by the Russian government to make a propaganda film in Cuba in order to promote socialism on an international scale is then given carte blanche in doing so. The result becomes the masterpiece of world cinema that stands before you in Soy Cuba. A labor of aesthetic beauty, a mastering of skills, and a culmination of cinema identifying on a universal base of human struggle against the many injustices of corrupt political systems.
Even though this film did serve a specific political purpose in promoting Fidel Castro and the communist regime (making…
My reaction to this being propaganda is Bob Odenkirk saying "who cares?" in the W/ BOB & DAVID "Resolutions" sketch because literally every minute (make that second) something breathtaking is happening in this movie. This movie seems impossible, yet here it is, somehow it exists, and nothing else in the world is quite like it.
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.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
For some people, cinema is all about telling a good story. I respect that point of view - I came to film from a fairly literary background - but I can't completely agree with it. Films like this are why.
I Am Cuba is a propaganda film made in 1964 as a co-production between the Soviet Union and the young regime of Fidel Castro. It shows the spirit and vitality of the Cuban people, their exploitation by the forces of the ousted President Fulgencio Batista and their eventual revolution. It tells four stories, my favourite of which involves an old farmer who dreams of his youth and wishes for rain to come and save his dying crops. The rain then…
If Eisenstein and Tarkovsky ever collaborated, the result would be a lot like this.
Poetic propaganda film.
Dance like choreography in dream-like long takes with sound as distinct shards highlighting sudden movements, music as raucous jazz or soaring strings that make unashamed melodrama; and dialogue as fragments of voices that mouth platitudes; or silence that mutes everything into the image- where Cuba is the ravaged young woman, the exploited farmer, the angry young man and the revolutionary, each in their own distinct geography- seedy nightclubs, dungeon like slums, glittering sugarcane fields, city squares and streets, and the jungle from where the revolution was fought.
Qué película y qué director, madre mía.
La obra de Kalatózov es única. Este hombre maneja los ritmos y las escenas de una forma que jamás había visto y que simplemente me emociona. Su cámara no se limita a contar la historia, se mueve con ella. Provoca ansiedad, vértigo, agonía... No deja de girar los planos y los contrapicados son casi una constante, lo cual me parece una maldita brillantez.
Pero sin duda hay algo que quiero destacar y es su manejo de las emociones. Estamos hablando de una cinta con alto contenido social, y hacer que sus cuatro historias vibren y calen hondo sin necesidad apenas de recurrir al diálogo es tremendamente complicado. El ejemplo más claro es cuando…
It's always hard seeing a film that you know about so I spent much of it trying not to wait for the shot over the streets following the funeral procession. It also meant that the fourth story, which took place after this, felt a little slight. It's a long film and I was tired by then.
In any case Soy Cuba is beautifully shot and has a hypnotic feel as you follow the action. The first piece was strongest for me, OK probably because it was about women, but there's a lot of power in the whole film.
Wow. That was unlike anything I have ever seen. I fell in love with Mikhail Kalatozov's The Cranes Are Flying and Letter Never Sent but Soy Cuba is by far his most impressive feat , a true magnum opus to cinema.
I loved everything about this masterpiece! The wonderful energy that's always present bolsters the amount of pure joy for the viewer ; the beautiful music , the mind blowing cinematography and the operatically visual performances all mix together in one big cinematic mise en scene bowl to create a 2 and a half hour thrill ride . Every frame can be a painting its just so beautiful, the camera will move in ways you may not of ever seen and its absolutely glorious. Each story is told with bravery and raw emotion , it's propaganda in the best way humanely possible.
Stunning cinematography. Absolutely incredible visuals.
First things first...the aerial approach and boat-bound camera work amass to a technical treasures. When the music gets amped up and the close-ups get personal, you will love Cuba too. This is where the film excels on a visionary level. While the 4 separate stories seem to supplement the camera's eye, they don't always connect personally or symmetrically. However, when all is said and done (possibly by the ending of the fourth story) you will be propelled to look deep at the suffering people and all the beauty that surrounds them in their dangerous world.