Silver Screen Studies

Description

“Silver Screen Studies” is a recurring screening and discussion series that pairs films with special presentations by scholars and cinema experts. Whether you are a seasoned cinephile or just film-curious you’ll enjoy these classics that everyone deserves to see on the big screen.

Special thanks to our series sponsors, Aaron and Andrea West.

Schedule

Jun 23

Soy Cuba (I Am Cuba)

Newly restored in 4K!

Produced by Mosfilm and ICAIC, this film was started only a week after the Cuban missile crisis and was designed to be Cuba’s answer to both Sergei Eisenstein’s propaganda masterpiece, Potemkin and Jean-Luc Godard’s freewheeling romance, Breathless. But I Am Cuba turned out to be something quite unique — a wildly schizophrenic celebration of Communist iconography, mixing Slavic solemnity with Latin sensuality. The plot, or rather plots, feverishly explore the seductive, decadent (and marvelously photogenic) world of Batista’s Cuba — deliriously juxtaposing images of rich Americans and bikini-clad beauties sipping cocktails poolside with scenes of ramshackle slums filled with hungry children and gaunt elderly citizens.

Using wide-angle lenses that distort and magnify and filters that transform palm trees into giant white feathers, cinematographer Sergei Urusevsky’s acrobatic camera achieves wild gravity-defying angles as it glides effortlessly through long continuous shots. But I Am Cuba is not just a catalog of bravura technique — it also succeeds in exploring the innermost feelings of the characters and their often desperate situations. Shown unsubtitled at the San Francisco International Film Festival, I Am Cuba received two standing ovations — during the screening. The first movie ever jointly presented by master filmmakers Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola, I Am Cuba is one of the great discoveries in cinema. It will change your view of cinema forever!

This screening will be followed by a talkback with Charles Bierbauer, Distinguished Professor and Dean Emeritus at the UofSC School of Journalism and Mass Communications.