Today at The Clinton: Tuesday, Jan 18

Music Movies @ the CST: BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB

Music Movies @ the CST: BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB

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buena vista social club still

An impressionistic glance at Cuba's vibrant cultural heritage, Wim Wenders' Buena Vista Social Club is an often times intriguing portrait of notable musicians and their craft.

Nicholas Bell, IONCINEMA.com

Buena Vista Social Club resonates almost like a diplomatic effort that helped set the stage for a post-revolutionary relationship to Cuba, a rare meeting between neighbors after decades of distance.

Landon Palmer, Nonfics

One of the best and most impactful docus of the 1990s, Wim Wenders exhilarating feature is at once a trbute to a pre-Castro generation of musicians as well as a largely bygone genre.

Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com

 

buena vista social club movie poster
BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB
Director: 
Wim Wenders
Country: 
Germany, United States, United Kingdom, France, Cuba
Year: 
1999
Runtime: 
105 minutes

With a small film crew, Wim Wenders accompanied his old friend Ry Cooder, who had written the music for Paris, Texas and The End of Violence, on a trip to Havana. Cooder wanted to record his material for Ibrahim Ferrer’s solo album at a studio there—following the recording of the first Buena Vista Social Club CD (which had not yet been released at that time).

Wenders immersed himself in the world of Cuban music. Over the course of several months, he observed and accompanied the musicians—first at home in Havana; then, weeks later, in April 1998, on their trip to Amsterdam for the first public performance of the band (who had never played together outside a studio); then, still later, in July 1998, to their triumphal concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall. He thus followed the old heroes of the traditional Cuban son music on their path from being completely forgotten to becoming world famous—within the period of just a few months.

“I thought, I’ll shoot a documentary,” Wenders has said, “and here we were, about to witness a fairy tale that no one could have imagined in this form.”

The music documentary became a cinematic sensation and an international success. Along with an Academy Award nomination for best documentary film, Buena Vista Social Club won in the same category at the European Film Awards, the German Film Prize in Gold, Germany’s Golden Camera, and the Grand Prize for Film in Brazil, as well as garnering numerous other awards.

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