There comes a point in the life of every blog when you just have to give in and succumb to what the public wants. It’s a wonder I’ve made it this far, but I’m afraid that time has come. I’ve been inundated with torrents of requests to focus on an area I, and many other blogs, have previously neglected. Yes, that’s right, it’s time for the post devoted to the history of Cuba! Yep, that’s right. There are not one, not two, not four, but three films on the list that all focus on the ‘modern’ history of a country I’ve never really even thought about, let alone cared (apologies to my veritable army of Cuban followers) and surprisingly enough, none of them are any good.
I Am Cuba inconceivably holds the rank of 112th best film in Empire’s poll, and for the life of me I can’t fathom why. Other than the impressive early tracking scene, where the camera goes underwater in an unbroken shot, there’s little to recommend about this tale if four disconnected stories in Cuba. The acting is largely terrible, and the stories are slow and poorly told, with an at least 10-minute edit on each section still required. Nothing more than well-filmed propaganda, such a high placing on Empire’s list makes me question their tallying methods.
Memories of Underdevelopment is a largely plotless rumination on gender, language and politics in early 60’s Havana, following a wealthy former businessman turned writer as he woos an aspiring actress, only to eventually be taken to court for allegedly abusing her virginity. Dull and overlong even at 97 minutes; it’s so boring that one of the highlights is a lecture.
At 2 hours and 40 minutes long, Lucia is a monumental waste of time. Three women, all conveniently but pointlessly named Lucia, live through three eras in Cuban history – 1895, 1932 and the 1960s. I can’t really explain the importance of these times without external research, as I was bored after 10 minutes and spent the next 150 intermittently looking at my watch and hoping for the film to end, as other than some interestingly lit scenes, nothing coherent really happens in any of the segments.
I Am Cuba: Choose life 3/10
Memories of Underdevelopment: Choose life 2/10
Lucia: Choose life 2/10