Cuban Cinema of the Sixties: From Myth to Reality

Death of a Bureaucrat, Tomás Gutiérrez Alea (1966)

“As a complement to the exhibition Adiós Utopia: Dreams and Deceptions in Cuban Art Since 1950, the Walker Moving Image department has curated Cinema Revolution: Cuba, a series of four classic Cuban films by filmmakers who gained international recognition soon after the formation of Castro’s revolutionary ICAIC (the Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematográficos).o spark conversation about their impact today, we invited six experts on Cuban film—Juan Antonio García BorreroMichael Chanan, Gustavo Arcos Fernández-Britto, Oneyda GonzálezDean Luis Reyes, and Alejandro Veciana—to respond to the question: How is revolutionary Cuban Cinema still revolutionary today? In their essays, presented when possible in both English and Spanish, they cover key considerations—including the innovations in form, technique, and style that are still admired or emulated today; the impact of these ’60s-era films on young people in Cuba today; its influence on today’s generation of artists; and the relevance of this work for audiences outside of Cuba. In the series’ third installment, Juan Antonio García Borrero, an author and member of the Cuban Association of the Cinematic Press based in Cuba, focuses on the ideologies that define a ‘revolutionary cinema’ and the anxieties surrounding ‘nationalist cinema’ in response to our prompt. Returning to Cuban cinema made in the Sixties means not only returning to the films themselves but also to the contexts from which they originated. It is impossible to understand the euphoria that awakened in the Left at that time without taking into account the material and spiritual conditions in which the filmmakers and the audiences developed. Unfortunately, the history of cinema is generally still told through a cold recount of the works and the authors considered ‘important,’ as if the films and filmmakers exist outside of  their dynamic contexts in which the most diverse tensions (political, cultural, racial, sexual, etc.) are constantly intermingled. …”
Cuba: Golden 60s Brings Classic Cuban Cinema to Brooklyn (Video)
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Tomás Gutiérrez Alea’s La muerte de un burócrata, 1966.

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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