Tomás Gutiérrez Alea
One of the first Cuban films to achieve significant success abroad, Tomás Gutiérrez Alea’s intimate and densely layered Memories of Underdevelopment is a landmark work of the country’s cinema. Left behind by his wife and family in the aftermath of the Bay of Pigs, the bourgeois intellectual Sergio (Sergio Corrieri) passes his days wandering Havana and idly reflecting, his amorous entanglements and political ambivalence gradually giving way to a mounting sense of alienation. With this adaptation of an innovative novel by Edmundo Desnoes, Gutiérrez Alea developed a cinematic style as radical as the times he was chronicling, creating a collage of vivid impressions through the use of experimental editing techniques, archival material, and spontaneously shot street scenes. Appearing onthe fiftieth anniversary of its release in a stunning new 4K restoration, Memories stands as a biting indictment of its protagonist’s disengagement, and an extraordinary glimpse of life in postrevolutionary Havana.
With his lush and sensual visuals, pitch-perfect soundtracks, and soulful romanticism, Wong Kar Wai has established himself as one of the defining auteurs of contemporary cinema.
Four charming comedies from Eric Rohmer.
Melvin Van Peebles’s edgy, angsty, romantic first feature could never have been made in America. Unable to break into a segregated Hollywood, Van Peebles decamped to France, taught himself the language, and wrote a number of books in French, one of which, La permission, would become his stylistically innovative feature debut.
Melvin Van Peebles
DCP, Blu-ray, DVD
A triumph at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival, the revelatory debut feature from codirectors (and twin brothers) Arie and Chuko Esiri is a heartrending and hopeful portrait of everyday human endurance in Lagos, Nigeria.