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I am Cuba

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#1 AdamKeith


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Posted 15 January 2013 - 05:37 PM

Sorry about the multiple post -I tried to post a link to youtube for this amazing tracking shot from the film - I am Cuba - but I think because it's copyrighted material it wouldn't let me post it. Search it out on YouTube - amazing - Filmed in 1964 before Steadicam
below is a little bit about it from Wikipedia-

In another scene, the camera follows a flag over a body, held high on a stetcher, along a crowded street. Then it stops and slowly moves upwards for at least four storeys until it is filming the flagged body from above a building. Without stopping it then starts tracking sideways and enters through a window into a cigar factory, then goes straight towards a rear window where the cigar workers are watching the procession. The camera finally passes through the window and appears to float along over the middle of the street between the buildings. These shots were accomplished by the camera operator having the camera attached to his vest—like an early, crude version of a Steadicam—and the camera operator also wearing a vest with hooks on the back. An assembly line of technicians would hook and unhook the operator's vest to various pulleys and cables that spanned floors and building roof tops.
Even though it had such great support, the movie was given a cold reaction by audiences. In Havana it was criticized for showing a rather stereotypical view of Cubans, whilst in Moscow it was considered naïve, not revolutionary enough, even too sympathetic to the lives of the bourgeois pre-Fidel classes. Also, upon its original release, the movie never reached Western countries largely because it was a communist production.
When the USSR collapsed in the early 1990s, I Am Cuba was virtually unknown. In 1992, Cuban novelist Guillermo Cabrera Infante, the guest co-director of the Telluride Film Festival, screened a print of the film at the festival as part of a retrospective on Kalatazov. The San Francisco International Film Festival screened the film in 1993. Shortly after the festival, three film professionals who had screened I Am Cuba at the San Francisco screening contacted friends at Milestone Films in New York. The tiny film distributor had released several "lost" or neglected older films (as it continues to do). Milestone screened a slightly blurry unsubtitled VHS tape of the film and then went about acquiring the distribution rights from Mosfilm in Russia. In 1994, a friend invited Martin Scorsese to a private screening. Scorsese was amazed by the film, and when Milestone approached him to lend his name to the company's release of the film, he was happy and enthusiastic to do so. Milestone's release was also co-presented by another fan of I Am Cuba, director Francis Ford Coppola. Milestone's release opened at New York's Film Forum in March 1995. For the tenth anniversary of the film, Milestone debuted a new 35mm restoration of I am Cuba without the Russian overdubbing in September 2005. Milestone released an "Ultimate Edition" DVD boxset at the time as well, with a video appreciation from Scorsese.[3]

Adam Keith
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#2 AdamKeith


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Posted 15 January 2013 - 05:39 PM

I tried again -

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#3 RonBaldwin


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Posted 16 January 2013 - 07:53 AM

love this -- haven't seen it in a while
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#4 joe carini

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:26 PM

Aloha Adam,

One of the best films ever. I bought a laser disc copy almost 20 years ago. Till today I'm impressed with the camera work and how inventive they were with the visuals. I purchased several dvd's and passed them out to DP'S and directors with whom I have worked with. Another film that impressed me was/ is "Russian Ark." A one take steadicam shot lasting 90 minutes.

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#5 Markus Kuballa

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 03:55 AM

That is really amazing. Even after watching it several times I can't figure out how they did it. A true show of artistic craftsmanship. I have to get a copy. Thanks for sharing!
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