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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:42 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:28 pm
Location: Greenwich Village
I may be jumping the gun, as this could be part of another World Cinema Project.

I saw this yesterday. What an excellent film. Circa 1967/1968 this has all the earmarks of the French new wave and a touch of Bunuel. Tomás Gutiérrez Alea does a wonderfull job merging historical newsreel footage with a fictional narrative. A very interesting look inside Cuba in this transitional period of their history.

And it's a very strong restoration.


PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:39 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:00 pm
Very exciting to hear that Memories of Underdevelopment is getting an upcoming release, whether as part of the WCP or as a standalone release.

I saw this maybe 7-8 years ago in a world cinema class I took in college. I actually wasn't that taken with it the first time I saw it, but I rewatched again for a writing project and ended up really enthralled by it. The film does have something of a French New Wave aesthetic, and it features the sort of archetypally intellectual and alienated protagonist you might expect to pop up in a Godard or Antonioni film. What sets the film in more of a Third Cinema tradition is that Alea takes a politically critical stance towards his protagonist's self-isolation and disaffection, suggesting that it is the protagonist's unwillingness/inability to integrate into a newly diverse society that creates his alienation, rather then implicating external societal factors. I probably need to see the film again before writing more about it, but I hope anyone interested in 60s cinema gives it a look.

Another Cuban film I saw in that world cinema class, Sara Gomez's "De Cierta Manera", is also a wonderful film that similarly mixes a dramatic narrative with documentary footage. Alea was actually involved in finishing the shooting on that film due to Gomez's premature death. I hope that's a title that eventually ends up getting a restoration with the WCP, since as far as I know it's never had a wide commercial release in the US and the print I saw wasn't in great shape.

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