It begins on a rooftop deck of a luxury hotel in pre-Castro Havana. The packaging says this is a new transfer from Russian vault elements. Against her better judgment, a girl takes the man home to her shack, where he offends her by offering to buy her crucifix. The film is not done with Americans. Being suppressed by those who wanted [I Am Cuba] made in the first place is a vindication of sorts. Some of the most exhilarating camera movements and most luscious black-and-white cinematography you'll ever see inhabit this singular, delirious 141-minute communist propaganda epic. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for I Am Cuba at Amazon.com. TIMES STAFF WRITER. The anti- American content is handled in a nightclub scene, where gum-chewing Yankees ogle the prostitutes, and one amateur anthropologist announces, "I'd like to see where these women live." Mikhail Kalatozov’s Soy Cuba (I Am Cuba) is an often astonishing technical achievement that transcends its somewhat didactic origins and perhaps deserves a more prominent place in the history of cinema. If you see it, try to figure out how the camera floated down that wall. It is best enjoyed on the big screen. How it was done, I have no idea. We see drunken American sailors chasing women through the streets, and follow the story of a hard-working peasant whose lands and home are snatched by the United Fruit Co. Rather than surrender his cane fields, he sets them afire. The Cuba it depicts may be an imagined one, but it's one we're continuing to imagine today. "I Am Cuba" is a 32-year-old propaganda film that has been recently rediscovered and is making the rounds on the art-house circuit. Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for I Am Cuba - Tomasito Cruz on AllMusic There is a sequence later in the film that begins with the streets filling with demonstrators and then seemingly floats, in an unbroken take, into a high-rise cigar factory. Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for Cuba: I Am Time - Various Artists on AllMusic - 1997 - For such a small island, Cuba has had an enormous… This sequence, heavy on schmaltz, nevertheless has a real poignancy. It was directed by the veteran Russian filmmaker Mikhail Kalatozov, then 61, whose "The Cranes are Flying" (1957) had won the Palme d'Or at Cannes a few years earlier. Find out everything Empire knows about I Am Cuba. All rights reserved. There is a shot near the beginning of "I Am Cuba" that is one of the most astonishing I have ever seen. It is interesting not only for its technical skill, but also because it betrays a certain interest in la dolce vita that is not entirely in keeping with the movie's revolutionary, agitprop stance. I Am Cuba is a showcase for some of the most astonishingly complex long takes ever devised. What gives "I Am Cuba" such resonance, after all, isn't just that camera and those bodies in restless motion, but also the strange convergence of this nominal ideal with that alien accent. Considering the power of the film today, it's hard to believe it fared poorly when audiences finally saw it. Mere propaganda only reinforces the status quo. But as an example of lyrical black and white filmmaking, it is still stunning. and the Terms and Policies, and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango. Its rather straight-forward in terms of plot, as it shows 4 different vignettes of everyday life, portraying the human struggle of living under harsh circumstances despite of the beautiful surroundings of Cuba. I Am Cuba movie reviews and ratings - Tribute.ca rating of 3.89 out of 5 Stars. Please enter your email address and we will email you a new password. I Am Cuba is an ode to a place that never existed and yet one that continues to exist. The storyline is much more sophisticated and innovative than has been given credit. visual impressions that will forever remain embedded in your mind's eye%u2014just as much as Picasso's La Guernica communicates the horrors of war, a chest-thumping source of pride for the Soviet government, full of inciting imagery, enormous filmmaking prowess and the flavor of revolution. The film is immensely entertaining and occasionally inspiring, a delirious combination of Slavic solemnity, Latin exoticism, Communist idealism and breathtakingly beautiful images. When Mikhail Kalatozov's I Am Cuba—a long-lost, phantasmagoric Cuban-Soviet propaganda film from 1964—was rediscovered and reissued in late 1995 by Milestone (with the prominent support of Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola), critic Terrence Rafferty wrote the following in his New Yorker review: "They're going to be carrying ravished film students out of the … I Am Cuba is a propaganda piece, and it shows, but it transcends that and becomes genuine cinematic art with strong humanism by its poetic storytelling. If this sounds dull, then rest assured that the plot is minimal and, despite it's avowedly political purpose, hardly gets in the way of the film's main attractions today. I Am Cuba (Soy Cuba) (1964) – Film Review I Am Cuba (1964) is a Soviet-Cuban propaganda film directed by veteran filmmaker Mikhail Kalatozov and released at the height of the Cold War. Their deluxe I Am Cuba: The Ultimate Edition sports an excellent flat B&W encoding. For the Soviet Union, the Cuban revolution was the shining example of socialism in action. By creating an account, you agree to the Privacy Policy I Am Cuba is a gripping, if stylised, historical document. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. The result is a technically astonishing mixture of optimistic Stalinist kitsch, agitprop and the epic Soviet style of the Twenties. Forty-five years ago, director Mikhail Kalatozov was commissioned by the Soviet government to make a … The movie is didactic in the best tradition of Socialist Realism. The Cuba it depicts may be an imagined one, but it's one we're continuing to imagine today. "I Am Cuba" is an anti-American propaganda film, made as a Cuban-Soviet co-production, that has been snatched from oblivion, restored, and released in the United States as a presentation of Martin Scorsese and Francis Coppola. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for I am Cuba (Soy Cuba) - (Mr Bongo Films) (1968) [DVD] at Amazon.com. The recent 4K restoration by Milestone Film & Video is a revelation, nothing less than a singular, definitive cinematic experience. Read the latest news, features and the Empire review of the film. Then we see the resistance: students agitating the change, including one who mimeographs propaganda pamphlets and then is shot dead, his body covered in a snow of the revolutionary sheets. I prefer to see this movie as a love letter to Cuba by some brilliant (but undoubtedly naive) Soviet film makers. Anthony Nield reviews Mr. Bongo's forthcoming Region 0 release of I Am Cuba , a film quite unlike any other from the hands of Mikhail Kalatozov. Even its depravities and imperialist Yankee misbehavior seem quaint. In the current moment of state-promoted luxury tourism, I am Cuba may also help us understand the complicated relationship between the Cuban Revolution’s past and present. See reviews & details on a wide selection of Blu-ray & DVDs, both new & used. Then it shows resistance, by brave farmers and heroic students. Treated to an excellent presentation, complete with optional subtitles and PCM sound, the disc sadly lacks any of the promised extras. Get the freshest reviews, news, and more delivered right to your inbox! The movie, now in limited distribution before a video release, is of course dated in its politics. I AM CUBA was not shown outside Cuba and the Soviet Union until the 1992 Telluride Film Festival, where it was screened--without English titles--as part of a special tribute to Mikhail Kalatozov. Forgot your password? Since the film's prediction of a brave new world under Fidel Castro has not resulted in a utopia for Cubans, who suffer under one of the world's most dismal bureaucracies, the film today seems naive and dated - but fascinating. Answer 1 of 8: Three of us girls going April 7th - 14th, does that coincide with you? Comments; Shares. “The film fails to convince in its propaganda, but as a goofy view of a new Cuba it is heartily appreciated.” Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz Russian director Mikheil Kalatozishvili (“Cranes Are Flying,” 1957) provides in “I Am Cuba” a Soviet-Cuban tribute to the victors of the revolution against the Batista regime, which turns out to be a ringing endorsement for the Cuban masses. Even today, its virtuosic camerawork is breathtaking. The script was co-authored by Yevgeny Yevtushenko, then the USSR's poetic superstar, and Enrique Pineda Barnet, a Cuban novelist. By Total Film 13 January 2006. One of the most technically impressive films of its time, and one of the most politically naive. Politically nave maybe, but it works beautifully as straight cinema. A work of dazzling cinematographic invention that still has the ability to astound. Most Cubans living on the island have never seen I am Cuba. Cinema's singular dream, so often betrayed elsewhere, is to deliver such visions as this. Reflect that it was made in 1964, long before the days of lightweight cameras and Steadicams, and the shot is almost impossible to explain. Kalatozov's fancy shots are not limited to the opening extravaganza. I am Cuba/Soy Cuba features the stories of several Cuban citizen-types: a young prostitute, a farmer, a young revolutionary and so on, up to the start of the island's Castro Revolution. This loony, quasi-masterpiece is one of the great jagged edges of film history. As nearly as I can tell, this is all done in one unbroken take. A beauty pageant is in progress. First, it shows Cuba groaning under the yoke of Yankee imperialism. The camera sinuously winds its way past bathing beauties, and then moves over the edge of the deck and descends vertically, apparently floating, down three or four stories to another deck, this one with a swimming pool. The drinking song of bullying US sailors has a strange modern resonance: "The gals here in … Mikhail Kalatozov's astonishing portrait of Cuba transcends its propaganda origins and deserves a more prominent place in cinema history. That film featured spectacular camera techniques, but they are upstaged by his opener in "I Am Cuba" and by some of the other sequences, which owe much to Fellini's influential "La Dolce Vita" (1960). I Am Cuba (Spanish: Soy Cuba; Russian: Я Куба, Ya Kuba) is a 1964 portmanteau drama film directed by Mikhail Kalatozov at Mosfilm.An international co-production between the Soviet Union and Cuba, it was not received well by either the Russian or Cuban public and was almost completely forgotten until it was re-discovered by filmmakers in the United States thirty years later. Roger Ebert was the film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. His technique seems somewhat at odds with his purpose (you won't find shots like these in Italian neo-realism), but then the movie itself alternates between lyricism and propaganda. Now, decades later, we are delighted to have been able to create a brand new 4K restoration of the film from original 35mm fine grain masters we purchased so long ago. Milestone released a stand-alone I Am Cuba disc in 2000 that Savant hasn't seen. I Am Cuba is an ode to a place that never existed and yet one that continues to exist. From the swaying palm trees in the beginning credits to the final victory march, the temperament of the revolution in I Am Cuba is uniformly passionate and determined. Many of the characters are stereotypes, but they are still sympathetic and real. In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism. Mikhail Kalatozov’s 1964 “I Am Cuba” is a great poetic epic that blends the stirring visual daring of Russia’s cinema of revolution with an intoxicating Latin sensuality. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. Along with the scenes of evil Yankees and brave Castroites, there are astonishing helicopter shots of Cuban landscapes, and poetry and prose are read on the soundtrack (Columbus is quoted: "This is the most beautiful land ever seen by human eyes"). It is one of the most visually hypnotic films ever -- and that's not hyperbole. Don't have an account? The Soviets fielded a first-class team of advisers to help in the production. The camera approaches a bar, and then follows a waitress as she delivers a drink to some tourists, after which one of the tourists stands up and walks into the pool - and the camera follows her, so that the shot ends with the camera actually underwater. Worse, they are discovered by her fiancé, a humble fruit peddler, who believed she was a virgin. Sidney Poitier’s 7 Most Memorable Performances, All Harry Potter Movies Ranked Worst to Best by Tomatometer. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for I Am Cuba at Amazon.com. True art is revolutionary. I am Cuba has as much to say about history as it does about film technique. Copyright © Fandango. The resulting assault is so epicly impassioned it's less about Cuba per se than the fusillade of movement, shadow, light, vertigo, and landscape on the viewer's tender optic nerves. Reflect that it was made in 1964, long before the days of lightweight cameras and Steadicams, and the shot is almost impossible to explain. Rated NR Since the film’s re-release in 1994, it has gone on to be remembered for its stylistic innovation and cinematic originality, despite its antiquated political message. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. I Am Cuba: The Ultimate Edition New Yorker Video/Milestone Cinematheque, $44.95. There is a shot near the beginning of "I Am Cuba" that is one of the most astonishing I have ever seen. I Am Cuba is a cinephile's wet dream, a collage of Herculean feats of technical wizardry that would be easy to dismiss if it wasn't so humane. I Am Cuba is a cinephile's wet dream, a collage of Herculean feats of technical wizardry that would be easy to dismiss if it wasn't so humane. Milestone Films first released Mikhail Kalatozov’s deliriously beautiful masterpiece, I Am Cuba in 1995. Finally, there is the appearance of a great revolutionary hero, a bearded man of the people who fights in the hills, is sheltered by peasants and represents Fidel Castro. Sign up here. 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