Salut les cubains (Agnès Varda,1963)
In 1963, Varda thoughtfully gave order to 1,800 photos that she had recently taken on a trip to Cuba. In just 30 minutes, the photographer/filmmaker achieves a sprawling depiction of the country, its people, its music, its history, its revolutions and its energy. The narration veers towards Chris Marker-like poeticism (not to mention his brand of “objective history”); Michel Piccoli and Varda engage in jocular lyric interplay. (via Fandor)
1963’s Salut les cubains is a collaboration with Yves Montand that compiles Varda’s photojournalism from Cuba into a celebratory ode to the island, its people and culture, and the still-very-young socialist state. The images are striking from a historical standpoint, although they don’t hint quite yet at the more poetic direction toward which Varda’s work will evolve. Her photo-montage style recalls both Soviet revolutionary film and the Cuban documentaries of Santiago Álvarez, whose career was just beginning at this time. Moments are poignant, such as seeing Cuban director Sara Gomez cutting up around the ICAIC studios shortly before her death. But Salut les cubains’ dominant impression is one of boundless energy and the nation’s great hope in trying to forge a new way of life. (via Youtube)
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