The storyline is much more sophisticated and innovative than has been given credit. 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. Comments; Shares. In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism. 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). 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. 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. First, it shows Cuba groaning under the yoke of Yankee imperialism. Even today, its virtuosic camerawork is breathtaking. 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. A beauty pageant is in progress. The movie, now in limited distribution before a video release, is of course dated in its politics. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for I am Cuba (Soy Cuba) - (Mr Bongo Films) (1968) [DVD] at Amazon.com. How it was done, I have no idea. Most Cubans living on the island have never seen I am Cuba. 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. TIMES STAFF WRITER. 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. Answer 1 of 8: Three of us girls going April 7th - 14th, does that coincide with you? By creating an account, you agree to the Privacy Policy I Am Cuba is a gripping, if stylised, historical document. Reflect that it was made in 1964, long before the days of lightweight cameras and Steadicams, and the shot is almost impossible to explain. 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. The film is not done with Americans. I Am Cuba is an ode to a place that never existed and yet one that continues to exist. But as an example of lyrical black and white filmmaking, it is still stunning. 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. 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. The movie is didactic in the best tradition of Socialist Realism. All rights reserved. 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. Kalatozov's fancy shots are not limited to the opening extravaganza. I Am Cuba: The Ultimate Edition New Yorker Video/Milestone Cinematheque, $44.95. 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. The packaging says this is a new transfer from Russian vault elements. 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 (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. The Soviets fielded a first-class team of advisers to help in the production. As nearly as I can tell, this is all done in one unbroken take. There is a shot near the beginning of "I Am Cuba" that is one of the most astonishing I have ever seen. The film is immensely entertaining and occasionally inspiring, a delirious combination of Slavic solemnity, Latin exoticism, Communist idealism and breathtakingly beautiful images. 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"). The script was co-authored by Yevgeny Yevtushenko, then the USSR's poetic superstar, and Enrique Pineda Barnet, a Cuban novelist. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for I Am Cuba at Amazon.com. 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. 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. and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango. The Cuba it depicts may be an imagined one, but it's one we're continuing to imagine today. 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. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. See reviews & details on a wide selection of Blu-ray & DVDs, both new & used. I am Cuba has as much to say about history as it does about film technique. 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. 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. Even its depravities and imperialist Yankee misbehavior seem quaint. I Am Cuba is an ode to a place that never existed and yet one that continues to exist. Worse, they are discovered by her fiancé, a humble fruit peddler, who believed she was a virgin. 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. The Cuba it depicts may be an imagined one, but it's one we're continuing to imagine today. Get the freshest reviews, news, and more delivered right to your inbox! Milestone Films first released Mikhail Kalatozov’s deliriously beautiful masterpiece, I Am Cuba in 1995. Sidney Poitier’s 7 Most Memorable Performances, All Harry Potter Movies Ranked Worst to Best by Tomatometer. 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. Many of the characters are stereotypes, but they are still sympathetic and real. Forty-five years ago, director Mikhail Kalatozov was commissioned by the Soviet government to make a … 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 … Treated to an excellent presentation, complete with optional subtitles and PCM sound, the disc sadly lacks any of the promised extras. Read the latest news, features and the Empire review of the film. I Am Cuba Review By Norm Schrager At this writing (Novenber 2007), a just-released undercover poll of Cuban citizens reflects their unhappiness with … Copyright © Fandango. The result is a technically astonishing mixture of optimistic Stalinist kitsch, agitprop and the epic Soviet style of the Twenties. "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. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. Being suppressed by those who wanted [I Am Cuba] made in the first place is a vindication of sorts. There is a shot near the beginning of "I Am Cuba" that is one of the most astonishing I have ever seen. By Total Film 13 January 2006. 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. 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. If you see it, try to figure out how the camera floated down that wall. I Am Cuba review. 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. Then it shows resistance, by brave farmers and heroic students. Mikhail Kalatozov's astonishing portrait of Cuba transcends its propaganda origins and deserves a more prominent place in cinema history. Rated NR I prefer to see this movie as a love letter to Cuba by some brilliant (but undoubtedly naive) Soviet film makers. This loony, quasi-masterpiece is one of the great jagged edges of film history. I Am Cuba is a showcase for some of the most astonishingly complex long takes ever devised. This sequence, heavy on schmaltz, nevertheless has a real poignancy. 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. 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." 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. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for I Am Cuba at Amazon.com. Considering the power of the film today, it's hard to believe it fared poorly when audiences finally saw it. The recent 4K restoration by Milestone Film & Video is a revelation, nothing less than a singular, definitive cinematic experience. Forgot your password? Sign up here. It is best enjoyed on the big screen. Newly Restored in 4K by Milestone! 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. Cinema's singular dream, so often betrayed elsewhere, is to deliver such visions as this. Mere propaganda only reinforces the status quo. Milestone released a stand-alone I Am Cuba disc in 2000 that Savant hasn't 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. Politically nave maybe, but it works beautifully as straight cinema. Against her better judgment, a girl takes the man home to her shack, where he offends her by offering to buy her crucifix. Recommended For Mature Audiences, Spike Lee Receives American Cinematheque Award, America Has to Come to a Reckoning: Director Sam Pollard on MLK/FBI, The TV Homages of WandaVision are an Amusing, Unfulfilling Distraction. Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for I Am Cuba - Tomasito Cruz on AllMusic True art is revolutionary. Reflect that it was made in 1964, long before the days of lightweight cameras and Steadicams, and the shot is almost impossible to explain. For the Soviet Union, the Cuban revolution was the shining example of socialism in action. Don't have an account? One of the most technically impressive films of its time, and one of the most politically naive. It is one of the most visually hypnotic films ever -- and that's not hyperbole. A work of dazzling cinematographic invention that still has the ability to astound. Find out everything Empire knows about I Am Cuba. 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