- That the city counted the most movie theatres in the world in 1959? (a total of 358) More than New York and Paris with respectively the second and third place.
- In 1957 Havana was the second city in the world to show 3D cinema and multi-screens (Cine Radiocentro)
A list of the major cinemas:
26th street , between 35th and 39th street
Avenida de Belgica , across the Bacardi building
Old Havana , Actualidades was the first movie theatre established in 1906.
23th street ( La Rampa) between 10th and 12th street
Vedado La Habana
Cine LA RAMPA
23th street (La Rampa) between N and O streets
Paseo de Prado and corner San José street
Old City, across the Capitolio
23th street between G and H street
23th street corner L street
Fresa y Chocolate
The landmark of the Cuban film is the movie Fresa y Chocolate (Strawberries and Chocolate)
(1994) from the Cuban director Tomas Gutierrez Alea, about the plight of being a homosexual
in Cuba in the 60's. Some of the pictures were taken at the famous Havana Paladar (private
in Concordia street Centro Habana.
Fragment of the Cuban movie Fresa y Chocolate
Other important movies from Tomás Gutiérrez are "Memorias del Subdesarrollo (1969) and "La Muerte de un Burócrata" (1966)
is a recent Spanish-Cuban movie, directed by Benito
Zambrano. The film is a tribute to Havana and its citizens.
Trailers and video clips Havana Blues film website
Other recent movies are Suite Habana (2003) and Madrigal" (2007) directed by Fernando Pérez Valdés.
I am Cuba
One of the major Cuban films, originally released in 1964, "Soy Cuba" provoked controversy then and continues to do so today. Filmed as an agitprop (artistic propaganda) joint venture between Cuban and Russian production companies Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industrias Cinematográficos (ICAIC) and Mosfilm , financed by the Soviet government, it was written by Enrique Pineda Barnet and Yevgeni Yevtushenko and directed by Mikhail Kalatozovwith cinematography by Sergei Urusevsky. The film uses disparate poetic scenarios to depict a multi-faceted view of the country just before the Cuban Revolution from a viewpoint sympathetic to the revolution. Even though subsidized by both Cuba and the Soviet Union, when complete, the film was rejected by both countries, being considered not sufficiently pro-communist by the Soviets and too stereotypical by the Cubans.
I Am Cuba, won a prize for technical merit in a 1964 competition in Milan but was not released in the United States until much later. When rediscovered in the 1990’s after the collapse of the Soviet Union and shown in film festivals, I Am Cuba, received enthusiastic praise for its advanced and artistic cinematography and was picked up by Milestone Films. Catching the attention of renowned producers Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola, the film was released under their sponsorship in the United States in 1995 to critical acclaim.
Story Line of Soy Cuba
The film uses four separate episodes to bring to life the authors’ interpretation of the wild contrasts in Batista-regime in Cuba: the eternal beauty of the land, the frenetic and decadent American-influenced bourgeois, and the grinding poverty and exploitation of its simple people. The opening sequence begins with a lyrical introduction, panning the shoreline and following a peasant boatman down a beautiful river, backed by a single guitar accompanying a female narrator quoting Yevtushenko’s poem “I am Cuba.” The scene then abruptly shifts to an urban hotel where loud and sometimes discordant jazz backdrops a decadent hotel party. This sets the stage for the clash of proletarian vs. bourgeoisie I am Cuba uses to paint its pro-communist picture.
The first two episodes of Soy Cuba describe the exploitation and destruction of the heroes (ordinary, poor and helpless country and city dwellers) by the villains (rich, capitalist landowners, industrialists looking for a good time).
The final two episodes show the response – a budding revolt by the people against the corrupt and brutal dictator Batista regime with growing support by the masses, culminating in the launch of the revolution