Aging Cuban musicians whose talents had been virtually forgotten following Castro's takeover of Cuba, are brought out of retirement by Ry Cooder, who travelled to Havana in order to bring the musicians together, resulting in triumphant performances of extraordinary music, and resurrecting the musicians' careers.
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A group of legendary Cuban musicians, some as old as their nineties, were brought together by Ry Cooder to record a CD. In this film, we see and hear some of the songs being recorded in Havana. There is also footage from concerts in Amsterdam and New York City's Carnegie Hall. In addition, many of the individual musicians talk about their lives in Cuba and about how they got started in music. Written by
George S. Davis
The Buena Vista Social Club album was put together by guitarist Ry Cooder in 1997 as a means of recapturing the "lost" music of pre-revolutionary Havana. The story was later made into this movie. See more »
I just got to see this on video last night. It's a lovely film, and the protagonists are memorable. My one problem, however, is with Ry Cooder. Don't misunderstand my admiration for Cooder's past work. He's an original, often evocative guitarist and composer. I just felt that his additions to these recordings -- both in the studio and in their concert versions -- were intrusive at the least. That wailing slide guitar just about ruined some great songs. I'm surprised the gentlemen and ladies of the band didn't say anything. It was a relief when he sat out of a performance. I really wanted to jump into the film, tap him on the shoulder and ask him to put down his guitar and just sit behind the mixing board!
OK. That's my rant. This is an impressive and lovely film.
If you have a chance, track down 1997's Black Tears (lagrimas Negras).
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