Tuesday, April 02, 2002

The Movie I Watched Last Night XIV
Monday: Buena Vista Social Club
Wim Wenders' heartful documentary about Ry Cooder's support of Cuban music and musicians works well on several levels. First of all, it's a loving history of and tribute to many elderly legendary musicians, including Ibrahim Ferrer, Compay Segundo, and Luis Barzaga. Second, it's a sentimental snapshot of Havana, blending oral history of the Buena Vista Social Club, which was active in the mid-'40s, and cinematic documentation of a city steeped in beauty, color, and tradition. Third, and perhaps most important, it's a romanticized introduction to the United States, especially New York City; Cooder's recording the music of Cuba and bringing the musicians to the U.S. to perform is a gift -- to the musicians, as well as viewers of this movie.

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