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Cuban Cinema: A Critical Filmography

edited by Ana López (Tulane University)

Cuban cinema gained international prominence as the ‘revolutionary cinema’ par excellence during the heady days of worldwide cinematic new waves and social upheaval in the 1960s and 70s. After the 1959 revolution, young Cuban filmmakers—among them Alea, Alvarez, García Espinosa, Sara Gómez and Solás—established a compelling new film aesthetic with astonishing speed, one based by turn—or sometimes simultaneously—on collage, modernist reflexivity, the use of popular genres such as comedy and melodrama and the interpenetration of fiction and documentary, all imbued with the country’s revolutionary political project.

Cuban Cinema: A Critical Filmography will provide the definitive and most detailed and comprehensive discussion of this crucial chapter in world film history available to date in any language. Through its discussion of key individual films—features, shorts, documentaries, animation, newsreels—it will also probe the inner workings of the state film institute ICAIC and the thorny issue of ideological control. The volume will also look back to the country’s silent films and scattered but consistently interesting sound films before 1960, featuring such international stars as Ninón Sevilla and Rita Montaner, when Cubans were among the most enthusiastic film audiences in the world. It will conclude with a discussion of the exciting new developments in Cuban film today by filmmakers such as Fernando Pérez and Juan Carlos Cremata as well as amateur and underground film, video and the cinema of the Cuban diaspora.

Ana López is director of the Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute at Tulane University, where she is an Associate Professor in the Communication Department and Associate Provost of the university. Her scholarship and publications are focused on Latin American film, media, television and popular culture. She has also worked extensively with Latino cultural production in the U.S. Her work has been widely published in film and Latin American studies journals and she is the co-editor of the volumes Mediating Two Worlds (BFI, 1993), The Ethnic Eye: Latino Media Arts (University of Minnesota, 1996), and the three-volume Encyclopedia of Latin American Culture (Routledge, 2000).