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Buena Vista Social Club! (The Film)

Related threads:
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Buena Vista Social Club (3)


Peter T. 27 Jun 99 - 11:05 AM
WyoWoman 27 Jun 99 - 11:30 AM
GUEST,Jeremy 21 Jul 00 - 07:54 PM
JenEllen 22 Jul 00 - 02:00 AM
GUEST,Banjo Johnny 22 Jul 00 - 02:00 AM
Dharmabum 22 Jul 00 - 12:34 PM
TheOldMole 23 Jul 00 - 12:50 AM
TheOldMole 23 Jul 00 - 12:52 AM
Escamillo 23 Jul 00 - 12:55 AM
jofield 23 Jul 00 - 01:28 AM
TheOldMole 23 Jul 00 - 02:21 AM
GUEST,Banjo Johnny 23 Jul 00 - 09:49 PM
TheOldMole 23 Jul 00 - 10:58 PM
Peter T. 24 Jul 00 - 09:43 AM
Fortunato 24 Jul 00 - 10:23 AM
GUEST 24 Jul 00 - 11:19 AM
M. Ted (inactive) 24 Jul 00 - 03:25 PM
GUEST,Banjo Johnny 24 Jul 00 - 09:45 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 25 Jul 00 - 01:50 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Jul 00 - 02:02 PM
Downeast Bob 25 Jul 00 - 05:30 PM
GUEST,Banjo Johnny 26 Jul 00 - 03:13 AM
voyager 25 Jul 14 - 09:09 AM
GUEST 25 Jul 14 - 10:16 AM
voyager 25 Jul 14 - 10:28 AM
JHW 26 Jul 14 - 06:04 AM
GUEST,leeneia 26 Jul 14 - 12:10 PM
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Subject: Buena Vista Social Club! (The Film)
From: Peter T.
Date: 27 Jun 99 - 11:05 AM

Speaking of great movies and great music, I had high hopes for the Buena Vista Social Club film and, music lovers, it is terrific. It is saturated in love of music and fine playing, straight from the heart. Sure, all this has been Grammy hyped (we could do without all life leading to Carnegie Hall, but what the hell), but these guys (and one exquisite gal) are the real thing, and the film does two things right: wanders around Havana (should have more!!) and lets the musicians talk about their instruments and their lives as working stiffs. I heard Compay Segundo in concert in April, celebrating his 92 birthday. The film is also very, very beautifully filmed (Wim Wenders being on track for a change). Blissful, really. You should not bring the children: the film is a strong advertisement for sex, cigars, drinking, and not having American television. Mind rotting!!
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Buena Vista Social Club! (The Film)
From: WyoWoman
Date: 27 Jun 99 - 11:30 AM

Oh, yummy! I heard Ry Cooder being interviewed about the CD the other day on NPR and thought it sounded like something I'd like to see/hear. It might be a while before it makes it to our neck of the woods, however.

We do have a brave little cinema club that operates from September through May, showing (what I consider to be) REAL movies once a week. I'll make a request for next season.

Not to sound too Sixties, but I do think we could all get along with each other if we'd figure out a way to create music and art together..."World music" is some of the most exciting stuff around because it's such a synthesis of human experience.

KC


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Subject: RE: Buena Vista Social Club! (The Film)
From: GUEST,Jeremy
Date: 21 Jul 00 - 07:54 PM

Did anyone happen to catch this movie last night on PBS?
Bloody marvelous!!!!


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Subject: RE: Buena Vista Social Club! (The Film)
From: JenEllen
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 02:00 AM

Bloody marvelous hardly comes close.
~Elle


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Subject: RE: Buena Vista Social Club! (The Film)
From: GUEST,Banjo Johnny
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 02:00 AM

Just watched it twice, mainly for the rhythms. Sorry, but I just couldn't get over the feeling it was a bunch of guys doing their Greatest Hits, the nostalgia thing. At any rate, the band & singers were still a lot better than anything Cuba sent us (in the U.S.A.) at the time, such as Xavier Cugat and Desi Arnaz. Did anyone notice, all the tunes are in minor keys? The rhythms (guaguanco, son montuno, etc) are still the best part! == Johnny


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Subject: RE: Buena Vista Social Club! (The Film)
From: Dharmabum
Date: 22 Jul 00 - 12:34 PM

For anyone interested it's scheduled to be on PBS again tonight in the NY, NJ area ch 13,9pm ch12,10:45pm.

Ron.


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Subject: RE: Buena Vista Social Club! (The Film)
From: TheOldMole
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 12:50 AM

Cuba sent us Machito, Chano Pozo, Sabu, Chico O'Farrill and Mario Bauza (why isn't this guy on everyone's list of all-time greatest jazz musicians?) during the 40s and 50s.


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Subject: RE: Buena Vista Social Club! (The Film)
From: TheOldMole
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 12:52 AM

Oh, yes, and Mongo Santamaria.


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Subject: RE: Buena Vista Social Club! (The Film)
From: Escamillo
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 12:55 AM

"the film is a strong advertisement for sex, cigars, drinking, and not having American television"
Thanks, Peter, I´ll be the first to buy the video ! :))
LA JUMA DE AYER.. YA SE ME PASO.. /Yesterday's drunkness is gone..
ESTA ES OTRA JUMA.. QUE HOY TRAIGO YO! /This is another drunkness.. I bring today !
(I would be happy to reach my 60's with the freshness these old guys show at their 90's)
Un abrazo de jumao - Andrés


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Subject: RE: Buena Vista Social Club! (The Film)
From: jofield
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 01:28 AM

As one who has spent a couple of dozen years making TV shows, I found the film unwatchably bad. The days of walking a self-conscious person down the street while her neighbors look on a little uncomfortably, or walking into someone's apartment and getting him to finger some of his personal possessions and calling that a documentary are long over. (OK....uh...tell us about...uh..that!) Wim Wenders clearly phoned it in. It was worse than amateur film-making. Any good tv director would have covered the big concert in Amsterdam better. Even Ry Cooder, whose idea the movie was, is put in such a bad light that the over-prominence of him and his son during the performance scenes make you want to rub them out. I was watching with my wife, who has also put some time in as a television producer, and, in spite of all our hopes for a great, sensitive music movie, after 50 minutes, we had to turn the damn thing off.

James.

PS -- You will note that the Academy, where at least some of the members know good film-making when they see it, pointedly did NOT give "Buena Vista" the documentary award. Justice for a change.


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Subject: RE: Buena Vista Social Club! (The Film)
From: TheOldMole
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 02:21 AM

James - when's the last time (with the possible exception of Terry Sanders and Frieda Mock for Maya Lin) that the members of the Academy gave the best documentary award to the right film?


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Subject: RE: Buena Vista Social Club! (The Film)
From: GUEST,Banjo Johnny
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 09:49 PM

to James Jofield ... all these band documentaries are like that. Musicians have surprisingly little to say outside the field of music, at least on camera. Do you remember the satirical rock band documentary Spinal Tap? That was funny! == Johnny


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Subject: RE: Buena Vista Social Club! (The Film)
From: TheOldMole
Date: 23 Jul 00 - 10:58 PM

Banjo J - I'd make an exception for "Wasn't That a Time?"


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Subject: RE: Buena Vista Social Club! (The Film)
From: Peter T.
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 09:43 AM

jofield, I admit that Wim Wenders is not my favourite director (except Wings of Desire), and there were parts of the film I disliked, but I thought that one of the best things about the film which I have never seen anyone do was get the people to talk about their relationships with their instruments. I could have used more of everything in Havana, and less New York and Carnegie Hall. yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Buena Vista Social Club! (The Film)
From: Fortunato
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 10:23 AM

Thank you Peter T. for the wonderful review, I will hasten to see it.

Thank you Jofield for your opinion that the production of the film does not the meet, in your opinion, the standards of television.

Regards, Fortunato


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Subject: RE: Buena Vista Social Club! (The Film)
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 11:19 AM

I suppose the fact that Ry and Joaquim Cooder are well regarded musicians (damn fine ones in their own respect) and catalysts for the rediscovery of these Cuban treasures obligated them to contribute something musically to the mix. But their incidental musings did nothing to enhance or improve the original sound, and it would have been better to have left them out of the performances/recordings altogether. A musician almost has to be immersed in the provincial influence of the music from birth in order to play it sincerely and authentically.

Three or four decades ago Carlos Santana took those hot Latin rhythms and incorporated them into a rock idiom to produce a unique sound that made him a superstar. What would this transposition engender: take some elements of rock 'n' roll and subdue them into a Latin or salsa idiom?


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Subject: RE: Buena Vista Social Club! (The Film)
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 03:25 PM

BanjoJohnny, actually, some of the tunes were in major keys--and why take cheap shots Cugat and Arnaz? They were great musicians, with great bands, playing, in many cases, the same material--

As to Ry Cooder, he has done a wonderful job of finding and drawing attention to this genre of music, and other, in the past, but he doesn't have the chops, or the heart--


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Subject: RE: Buena Vista Social Club! (The Film)
From: GUEST,Banjo Johnny
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 09:45 PM

Hi M. Ted ! I didn't have anything "personal" against them or their musicianship, but I feel they watered down the latin styles to please the U.S. audiences. There was a brief vogue in Cuban styles and they were cashing in.

Actually, I forgot about Chano Pozo, who I thought was great because he kept to the original Cuban styles. == Johnny in OKC


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Subject: RE: Buena Vista Social Club! (The Film)
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 25 Jul 00 - 01:50 PM

Cugat created the hot trend in Latin music when his band came to the Waldorf-Astoria Ballroom about 1940--audience loved the "exotic" dance music, it changed the music that people listend and danced to overnight,and the "Latin" music craze began--It has had profound influence on what American pop and rock music is, how it sounds, how it is written, and how it is played--

Cugat was Spanish, and his orchestra really played an older, more European-based ballroom music, very romantic, with elegant flourished and perfect orchestrations--The Buena Vista Social Club music is based on the folk-based montuno rhythmic structure and the Cuban tradition of folk poetry--though they are all highly trained and musically sophisticated musicians--

They were popular in the 40's in a way, kind of replacing the older more Spanish/Classical music with a much more Cuban folk based music,, both on the radio and in the Cuban clubs--they in turn gave way to the next wave, which was Perez Prado Mambo/ChaChaCha/Salsa music--which was actually a fusion of the BVSC kind of music and American Jazz, and it was probably first played in New York, rather than Havana--(Desi Arnaz sort of fits in here)--

Anyway, I love this music(all of it--even Cuggie and Desi), I love listening to it, and I love playing it, and I am really happy that this film (for all its cinematic flaws) is getting people to listen to the other American Music--


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Subject: RE: Buena Vista Social Club! (The Film)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Jul 00 - 02:02 PM

"It was worse than amateur film-making." Probably worse than amateur music-making as well. Ah, the professional touch...

Sorry, but when people say things like "The days of....are long over" it switches on my novelty-for-the-sake-of-novelty detectors.

I haven't seen it, but the crucial thing as I understand it is that it gives us a chance to hear t some great old musicians while they are still around. Whether its a "good documentary" doesn't really come into the picture too much.


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Subject: RE: Buena Vista Social Club! (The Film)
From: Downeast Bob
Date: 25 Jul 00 - 05:30 PM

What I loved about this flick, besides the wonderful music, was the fact that Wenders and Cooder went there and opened the eyes and ears of the rest of the world to these musicians, who have been aging like good wine, unknown to must of us. Although the film didn't get into politics, I couldn't help thinking that the U.S. embargo ought to have ended a long time ago.


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Subject: RE: Buena Vista Social Club! (The Film)
From: GUEST,Banjo Johnny
Date: 26 Jul 00 - 03:13 AM

I'm not a film critic but I did get tired of all the talk. Get to the MUSIC ! At concerts, I don't care for long introductions. My rule is, the introduction should not be longer than the song. == Johnny


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Subject: RE: Buena Vista Social Club! (The Film)
From: voyager
Date: 25 Jul 14 - 09:09 AM

Sorry if I'm 'late to the dance' but we just caught the BVSC film last night. No need to do 'film criticism' (sniping) on the program. Like Wim Wenders (film maker), like Ry Cooder (producer), 1st half of the film was too slow, 2nd half was the good part. What I will remember is the talents of the musicians performing in the movie -

Luis Barzaga (backing vocals)
Joachim Cooder (drums)
Ry Cooder (guitar)
Juan de Marcos González (guitar, vocals, percussion)
Carlos González (bongos)
Manuel "Guajiro" Mirabal (trumpet)
Eliades Ochoa (vocals, guitar)
Julienne Oviedo Sanchez (timbales)
Omara Portuondo (vocals)
Barbarito Torres (laúd)
Amadito Valdés (percussion)
Alberto "Virgilio" Valdés (percussion)
Lázaro Villa (vocals, percussion)
Jesus "Aguaje" Ramos (trombone)
Papi Oviedo (tres)

voyager


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Subject: RE: Buena Vista Social Club! (The Film)
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jul 14 - 10:16 AM

A great film, and a great album, which led to the release of many other albums by these fantastic musicians that most of us would never have heard of if not for the film.

But voyager's list leaves out the best part:
Company Segundo (vocals, armónico)
Ibrahim Ferrer (vocals)
Ruben Gonzalez (piano)
and maybe others that I can't think of right now, but those three were leading stars of the movie and the music.

There's a nice clip of Segundo singing and playing the armónico (a guitar/tres hybrid that he invented so that he could play the guitar part and the tres part on the same song) at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q61JRKpWg-s, and his duets with Omara Portuondo at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVuHTQm0810 and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRlxgW5yzVU


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Subject: RE: Buena Vista Social Club! (The Film)
From: voyager
Date: 25 Jul 14 - 10:28 AM

Ruben Gonzalez had a great shirt in the film.
Compay Segundo had a great hat.
Ibrahim Ferrer had the 'fire down belw'

Buena Vista Social Club (Wiki Site)
Thanks for completing the band list.

voyager


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Subject: RE: Buena Vista Social Club! (The Film)
From: JHW
Date: 26 Jul 14 - 06:04 AM

Excellent film. Reminds me though of the benefit (as in opera) in NOT knowing the lyric translation when sung in foreign


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Subject: RE: Buena Vista Social Club! (The Film)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 26 Jul 14 - 12:10 PM

Guest of July 25th - thanks for the links. I enjoyed listening.


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