It's nearly a month now since I embarked on my first journey to Habana, Cuba, and so of late, I've been reflecting on the art of film appreciation in post-revolutionary lands ... and wondering how the world of film and art is doing abroad during this economic slumpy slump.
In Havana, I presented my short film MATHEMATICS FOR PLANTS at the International Festival for Latin American Film (read, aka: the Habana Film Festival) which was in it's 30th year. 30 years, hmm---not bad i thought. But just how steeped in film can a 3rd world country be, you ask? I was tickled to encounter a general public audience, more versed in visual language than many western, well at least American, grad students... it was interesting to attend a festival in a culture where film is abolutely regarded as art, filmmaking and artmaking are exaulted above the sciences and medicine, and the tradition of film-making is serious and deeply part of the cultural identity. Apparently it was not unusual or out of place for all the screenings to be at capacity and for the 13 year-old couple in front of me to making out to the flicker of the latest Carlos Sorin film. (Cuba's has a devoted audience to South American films.) I loved every minute it.
So, here's some lofi images from the festival:
The Lobby at Cinecitta
a fraction of the line at La Rampa Cinema
of course, Benicio del Toro was present for the Cuban premier of Soderbergh's Che