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The General (1998)
Humor with an edge!
This movie surprised me, it was really funny.
You know true stories, sometimes they can be emotional and dramatic! This one is no exception but it is also a gut buster.
Martin, The General, is a smart, clever and basically good person. Yeah, he has some issues with authority but who doesn't. Mostly his issues lie with "the system". In this case the one in Ireland, but it hits home around the world. The powerful getting more power and the poor getting poorer.
Martin has struggled with "the ghetto" since he began. Stealing food and smokes for his mom at an early age, dropping out of school and having an early family to take care of have all seemed to force his hand but instead of being bitter he seems freer than those who have "it all". He speaks his mind to anyone and everyone. He has a lot of love and caring around him and gives it back as well. This is not a man to be envied or pitied rather respected. I feel this is the heart of the matter for Martin.
I laughed, did not cry and felt just a touch sad at the end.
Watch the movie and laugh, laugh, laugh.
Buena Vista Social Club (1999)
Loving Wim as I do, I was intrigued to see what he could achieve with this group of stellar musicians.
In a word, Greatness.
Having this group of warm, vital and oh so talented people sure helped him out. What is captured, for me, is the incredible staying power of true, heart felt music. These people sing, play and dance with a sense of worship. Having seen many hard times and passed through trials and tribulations (that we in the US have little understanding for) these people through faith and belief, persevered and continue to shine like diamonds.
Wim also conveys an old world beauty in a place run over by westernization. The surf smacking the coast line and spraying the ol' 50's cars racing down the road. The streets at night dimly lit, allowing the colors to permeate your senses. You feel like you can taste the blues and touch the pinks. The bright afternoon sun, sparkling among the ruin of buildings long forgotten to some but revered still by others. A magical yet very real place is given to us to explore in this film. I, along with many others, have an overwhelming urge to go to Cuba now and experience for myself.
If you have a chance to see any of these musicians live, DO SO! You will not be disappointed. If you do not, see this movie and get yourself a taste that will leave you breathless for more.