Saturday, 20 September 2008

Humberto Solás Dies

Sadly, the great Cuban film director Humberto Solás died from cancer on September 17th, aged 66.

There's a great and touching obituary by Latin-American film scholar and fellow filmmaker Michael Chanan in today's Guardian newspaper (online link HERE). For anyone who wants to know more about Solás's film work, including his wonderful 1968 film Lucía, there's a good study by Peter Rist (Concordia University, Montréal) for the Canadian online journal Offscreen (Volume 10, Issue 2 (February 28, 2006), accessible HERE.

In his obituary of the Cuban filmmaker, Chanan writes of Lucía:

Lucía was a tour de force: three episodes in three different cinematic styles about three women, each called Lucía, set during three different moments in Cuba's history. Lucía 1895 is shot in a histrionic style, influenced by the Italian director Luchino Visconti, replete with the extraordinary image of naked black liberation fighters riding out to meet the Spanish cavalry. Lucía 1933 turns to Hollywood models and adopts the more sedate style of domestic melodrama by Cukor or Kazan, while Lucía 196? takes on the hue of the nouvelle vague

Here's a (sadly unsubtitled) YouTube video of some sequences from Lucía, posted by videotrading on August 06, 2006. The video gives some sense of Lucía's radical form.

And, finally, here's a wonderful YouTube video of a Cuban television segment, posted by cedecom in July of this year, in which Solás talks about cinema and his career, including his turn in latter years to digital technology. Apologies, but it's also unsubtitled.

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