7 July 2012 4:03 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Two portmanteau films released in the same week looks like carelessness. It amounts to reviewing, in effect, 16 films in a row. We'll start in Havana, where seven directors (including Benicio del Toro, Pablo Trapero, Laurent Cantet, Elia Suleiman, Gaspar Noé) contribute one short, set on a different day of the same week in the Cuban capital. Part-sponsored by Havana Club rum, the drink features heavily and several of the films are little more than extended adverts. The faded grandeur of the Hotel Nacional features prominently and cliches of ladyboys, cigars, daiquiris and rafts to Miami abound. I liked Noé's Friday film, a throbbing, flashing voodoo phantasma about a young girl undergoing a witch doctor ritual to "cure" her of lesbianism. Its darkness came as a relief amid all the postcard cuteness.

That said, Laurent Cantet, Palme d'Or winning director of The Class, delivers splashes of local colour anchored by a »

- Jason Solomons

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