866 Buena Vista Social Club

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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domino harvey
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866 Buena Vista Social Club

#1 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:10 pm

Buena Vista Social Club

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Traveling from the streets of Havana to the stage of Carnegie Hall, this revelatory documentary captures a forgotten generation of Cuba’s brightest musical talents as they enjoy an unexpected brush with world fame. The veteran vocalists and instrumentalists collaborated with American guitarist and roots-music champion Ry Cooder to form the Buena Vista Social Club, playing a jazz-inflected mix of cha-cha, mambo, bolero, and other traditional Latin American styles, and recording an album that won a Grammy and made them an international phenomenon. In the wake of this success, director Wim Wenders filmed the ensemble's members—including golden-voiced Ibrahim Ferrer and piano virtuoso Rubén González—in a series of illuminating interviews and live performances. The result is one of the most beloved music documentaries of the 1990s, and an infectious ode to a neglected corner of Cuba's prerevolutionary heritage.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED EDITION:

• New high-definition digital transfer, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• Audio commentary from 1999 featuring director Wim Wenders
• New interview with Wenders
We Believe in Dreams, a new piece featuring never-before-seen outtakes from the rehearsals for the Buena Vista Social Club's Amsterdam concerts
• Interview from 1998 with musician Compay Segundo on his career and the Cuban music scene
• Radio interviews from 2000 featuring musicians Ibrahim Ferrer, Rubén González, Eliades Ochoa, Omara Portuondo, and others
• Additional scenes
• Trailer
• PLUS: An essay by author and geographer Joshua Jelly-Schapiro

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domino harvey
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Re: 866 Buena Vista Social Club

#2 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:18 pm

How appropriate that Wenders is the new Ozu!

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knives
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Re: 866 Buena Vista Social Club

#3 Post by knives » Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:31 pm

I'm okay with this.

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Tommaso
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Re: 866 Buena Vista Social Club

#4 Post by Tommaso » Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:39 pm

Wait until they start releasing things like "Palermo Shooting" or (shudder)"Every Thing Will Be Fine"...

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domino harvey
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Re: 866 Buena Vista Social Club

#5 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:51 pm

knives wrote:I'm okay with this.

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knives
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Re: 866 Buena Vista Social Club

#6 Post by knives » Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:57 pm

Tommaso wrote:Wait until they start releasing ... (shudder)"Every Thing Will Be Fine"...
I kind of like that one.

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PfR73
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Re: 866 Buena Vista Social Club

#7 Post by PfR73 » Tue Jan 17, 2017 4:24 pm

I didn't like it, but..if Criterion actually released it in 3D for home video, that'd actually be a [somewhat] legit reason. The only thing interesting about that film is the fact it's a character drama that was shot in 3D, yet the American distributor didn't release the 3D version on Blu-Ray.

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Tommaso
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Re: 866 Buena Vista Social Club

#8 Post by Tommaso » Tue Jan 17, 2017 5:40 pm

That James Franco performance was probably the most atrociously wooden thing I've seen in recent years from an actor who for some reason I can't fathom seems to be well known. And then seeing the usually wonderful Charlotte Gainsbourg in such a one-dimensionally depressed mode, which only shows in comparison - if anyone doubted it - how good von Trier is at getting the nuances out of his characters, something at which Wenders completely failed in almost anything after "Lisbon Story", with the possible exception of "Don't Come Knocking". That I watched "Every Thing Will Be Fine" rather shortly after seeing "Another Earth", which somehow tackles a similar issue, didn't help either. For me, it's quite clearly the worst thing Wenders ever did, although he's been on the decline for years, his documentaries excepted.

Which brings us back to topic. "Buena Vista Social Club" is certainly a very fine documentary with marvellous musical performances, and it certainly deserves its place in the Collection. I haven't seen it for ages, so I don't remember how good or bad the old dvd versions were and if a CC upgrade is necessary or not (hell, I don't even know whether it's out on blu elsewhere already or not...)

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The Narrator Returns
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Re: 866 Buena Vista Social Club

#9 Post by The Narrator Returns » Tue Jan 17, 2017 5:46 pm

I haven't seen Every Thing, but all I've read about it just makes it sound really, really dull, which has to be a step up from the sheer obnoxiousness of The Million Dollar Hotel (then again, I might actually buy a Criterion Blu of the latter, because, if nothing else, the cinematography and soundtrack of U2 songs deserve better than the terrible DVD).

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Tommaso
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Re: 866 Buena Vista Social Club

#10 Post by Tommaso » Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:06 pm

I think "The Million Dollar Hotel" is by far the better film than "Every Thing", if only for some visual inventiveness (entirely missing from "Every Thing" if you ask me) and the Utopian setting. I don't care much for U2, but yeah, the songs weren't too bad, either.

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Ribs
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Re: 866 Buena Vista Social Club

#11 Post by Ribs » Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:24 pm


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movielocke
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Re: 866 Buena Vista Social Club

#12 Post by movielocke » Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:23 am

The music is simply fantastic, but the cameras used to capture it are certainly showing their age nearly twenty years later. I kept getting distracted by the digital-ness of the image. Of course that is irrelevant to the film itself, but it is worth noting how noticeable the acquisition format is--at least on filmstruck.

I really loved Wenders approach to have each person introduce themselves in segments throughout the film, building up a gradual tapestry of the entire community with an amalgamation of short stories. The editing and flow of the film is just outstanding.

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soundchaser
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Re: 866 Buena Vista Social Club

#13 Post by soundchaser » Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:26 pm

Watched this for the first time last week, and I agree with movielocke - the production quality wasn't exactly outstanding. It reminded me of a PBS documentary in look, though in form it was definitely less "talking heads" than I expected.

I'm very impressed at how versatile Wenders is as a director. This is a million miles away from something like "Alice in the Cities," yet it's still breathtaking. There's a shot in which the camera circles Rubén González while the falling leaves around him move in the opposite direction that's really astounding.

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Minkin
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Re: 866 Buena Vista Social Club

#14 Post by Minkin » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:03 pm


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