The musician and writer talks about his cultural recommendations with great influence from his passion for music
Today we know the recommendations of this musician and writer of Cuban origin in which his professional training and his native country are present. And it is that in his choices there is a lot of component of Cuban origin and a lot of importance for music. Come and see Carlos Almaguer’s five favorite movies.
Vampires in Havana
Released in 1985, it is a crazy Cuban-style cartoon comedy with a political undertone. Directed by the brilliant and recently deceased Juan Padrón and co-produced by Radio Televisión Española, with the magnificent sound of Arturo Sandoval’s trumpet soundtrack. Vampire Von Dracula travels to Cuba and creates a formula that allows vampires to resist sunlight, which he decides to experiment with his nephew Joseph who embodies the Cuban “Pepito” (a kind of Spanish Jaimito) who becomes a revolutionary character and inspirational in the fight against the tyrant Gerardo Machado, who with Padrón’s hand even faces the mafia. A movie of childhood heroes for a whole generation of Cubans.
Strawberry and Chocolate
Film from the year 1993 directed by the duo Tomás Gutiérrez Alea and Juan Carlos Tabío, it is a stark account of the homophobia of the first years of the Cuban Revolution, masterfully interpreted by Jorge Perugorría, Vladimir Cruz and Mirtha Ibarra. A homophobia exercised and encouraged by the Cuban government from all its levels of power, headed by the Union of Young Communists. A group discriminated against and mercilessly persecuted by a revolution that led them to forced labor camps and forced thousands of gay and lesbian Cubans to leave the country. The audacious message of this film is an ode to afamiliarity and tolerance, which values the human qualities for which human beings must be respected without distinction of political colour, sex or religion.
The fire of revenge (Man on Fire)
An action and drama thriller that was released in 2004. Starring the American actor Denzel Washington, with luxury supporting roles like Marc Anthony and Mickey Rourke, with an immense Dakota Fanning for her young age in the role of Tita, a girl who is kidnapped by a Mexican drug cartel. Its director, Elie Chouraqui, shows us the cruelty and harshness of a Mexican society where life is worthless and people are capable of anything for money. The counterpoint is the firmness and courage of her bodyguard. A hard and impressive film that earned Carlos Varela the first contract for a Cuban artist at Warner Brothers with the interpretation of the song, “Una palabra”, the film’s soundtrack.
In this blockbuster film from 2008, the great actor, producer and film director, Mr. Clint Eastwood, returns to the cinema after four years, with a starring role at the age of 78, getting into the skin of a veteran of the Korean War, that now he has to live with a Hmong community as neighbors, while taking care of his most precious possession, a Ford Gran Torino from the year 72, which is not only the macguffin of the film, but also embodies the past in which the protagonist is anchored. A story of social survival reflected in the verbal and physical violence practiced by the protagonists but also of sacrifice that shows the loneliness suffered by the elderly in modern society. And as a climax, Jamie Cullum’s masterful interpretation of the song: Gran Torino composed for the occasion by his son Kyle Eastwood.
From the year 2003, Love Actually is a British romantic comedy. Here Richard Curtis shows off his talents as a scriptwriter and director, brilliantly handling the numerous cast of stars that the film brings together, without interpretative slant, he achieves a fresh and current comedy that under the guise of easy intellectual digestion, launches an intense message. about the complexity of life as a couple and social relationships, which can become complicated when love is born in one or one of the unmotivated members of the couple that looks the other way, like an unstoppable force between human beings at any age and in any stage of life. The soundtrack composed by Craig Armstrong reminds us at every moment that… Love is everywhere!