February 24 & 28 at 730pm
35MM PRINT! Produced by Mosfilm and ICAIC, this film started only a week after the Cuban missile crisis and designed to be Cubas answer to both Sergei Eisensteins propaganda masterpiece, Potemkin and Jean-Luc Godards freewheeling romance, Breathless, I Am Cuba turned out to be something quite unique a wildly schizophrenic celebration of Communist kitsch, mixing Slavic solemnity with Latin sensuality. The plot, or rather plots, feverishly explore the seductive, decadent (and marvelously photogenic) world of Batistas Cuba deliriously juxtaposing images of rich Americans and bikini-clad beauties sipping cocktails poolside with scenes of ramshackle slums filled with hungry children and gaunt old people. Using wide-angle lenses that distort and magnify and filters that transform palm trees into giant white feathers, Urusevskys acrobatic camera achieves wild gravity-defying angles as it glides effortlessly through long continuous shots. But I Am Cuba is not just a catalog of bravura technique it also succeeds in exploring the innermost feelings of the characters and their often desperate situations. Shown unsubtitled at the San Francisco International Film Festival, I Am Cuba received two standing ovations during the screening. The first movie ever jointly presented by master filmmakers Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola, I Am Cuba is one of the great discoveries in cinema. It will change your view of cinema forever!
Mikhail Kalatozov / 1964, Cuba-Soviet Union
141min / 35mm