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. This loony, quasi-masterpiece is one of the great jagged edges of film history. 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. 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. 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 out everything Empire knows about I Am Cuba. 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. Most Cubans living on the island have never seen I am Cuba. Treated to an excellent presentation, complete with optional subtitles and PCM sound, the disc sadly lacks any of the promised extras. 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. Roger Ebert was the film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. I Am Cuba Review By Norm Schrager At this writing (Novenber 2007), a just-released undercover poll of Cuban citizens reflects their unhappiness with … 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. 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. 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. and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. Worse, they are discovered by her fiancé, a humble fruit peddler, who believed she was a virgin. As nearly as I can tell, this is all done in one unbroken take. A beauty pageant is in progress. I am Cuba has as much to say about history as it does about film technique. The script was co-authored by Yevgeny Yevtushenko, then the USSR's poetic superstar, and Enrique Pineda Barnet, a Cuban novelist. 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" 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. Forty-five years ago, director Mikhail Kalatozov was commissioned by the Soviet government to make a … Their deluxe I Am Cuba: The Ultimate Edition sports an excellent flat B&W encoding. 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. Mikhail Kalatozov's astonishing portrait of Cuba transcends its propaganda origins and deserves a more prominent place in cinema history. The film is not done with Americans. I Am Cuba is a gripping, if stylised, historical document. By creating an account, you agree to the Privacy Policy 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. Read the latest news, features and the Empire review of the film. There is a shot near the beginning of "I Am Cuba" that is one of the most astonishing I have ever seen. How it was done, I have no idea. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. Sidney Poitier’s 7 Most Memorable Performances, All Harry Potter Movies Ranked Worst to Best by Tomatometer. Forgot your password? Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for I Am Cuba at Amazon.com. But as an example of lyrical black and white filmmaking, it is still stunning. 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. It is best enjoyed on the big screen. 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. I Am Cuba is an ode to a place that never existed and yet one that continues to exist. Milestone Films first released Mikhail Kalatozov’s deliriously beautiful masterpiece, I Am Cuba in 1995. 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. All rights reserved. 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. and the Terms and Policies, 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. Against her better judgment, a girl takes the man home to her shack, where he offends her by offering to buy her crucifix. 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. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for I am Cuba (Soy Cuba) - (Mr Bongo Films) (1968) [DVD] at Amazon.com. The movie is didactic in the best tradition of Socialist Realism. 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. See reviews & details on a wide selection of Blu-ray & DVDs, both new & used. Considering the power of the film today, it's hard to believe it fared poorly when audiences finally saw it. One of the most technically impressive films of its time, and one of the most politically naive. Copyright © Fandango. Kalatozov's fancy shots are not limited to the opening extravaganza. By Total Film 13 January 2006. I Am Cuba: The Ultimate Edition New Yorker Video/Milestone Cinematheque, $44.95. Reflect that it was made in 1964, long before the days of lightweight cameras and Steadicams, and the shot is almost impossible to explain. Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for I Am Cuba - Tomasito Cruz on AllMusic 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. 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). In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism. 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." 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. The drinking song of bullying US sailors has a strange modern resonance: "The gals here in … 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"). Many of the characters are stereotypes, but they are still sympathetic and real. 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