Movie's Directors :.
Tomás Gutiérrez Alea
From All Movie Guide: Tomás Gutiérrez-Alea was considered to be
Cuba's greatest director; internationally, he was noted for his versatility and
for pointing out the foibles of Cuban society. He received formal training at
the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, Rome and was initially heavily influenced
by the Italian neorealist movement. Upon his return to Cuba in the early 1950s,
Gutiérrez-Alea joined "Nuestro Tiempo," a radical cultural society,
and worked heavily in the film section. He and filmmaker Julio García
Espinosa co-directed a controversial documentary short, El Mégano, in
1955. The film was considered subversive by the Batista government and was confiscated
by police. Following the Cuban Revolution, Gutiérrez-Alea helped found
the Instituto Cubano de Arte e Industria Cinematográficos (ICAIC) in 1959.
It is a filmmaking collective devoted to making revolutionary films, and he was
one of the organization's most influential members. The following year, he made
his directorial debut with his neorealist chronicle of the recent revolution
in the film Historias de la Revolución. On the international scene, his
best known historical film is La Última Cena (1976) which uses music and
literary conventions to chronicle a major slave uprising in the 18th century.
Though he worked with a variety of themes, much of Gutiérrez-Alea's work
was centered on the Revolution and its effects on diverse members of society.
In addition to his historical films, he also created social satires that make
fun of the classes in contemporary Cuba. His 1993 film Fresas y Chocolate was
considered quite controversial in Cuba and was the first Cuban film to receive
a Best Foreign Film nomination at the American Academy Awards. It is the tale
of the friendship between a politically idealistic heterosexual man and an decadently
anarchistic homosexual. Gutiérrez-Alea has also done straight dramas,
and in 1988, he tried his hand at a period romance with Cartas del Parque. His
final film, the comedy Guantanamera (1995) poked gentle fun at economic conditions
in Cuba while recounting the story of three people trying to return to the home
village of a recently deceased woman so they may bury her in accordance with
the law. In addition to writing or co-writing most of his films, Gutiérrez-Alea
also actively worked as an advisor for other filmmakers. In 1982, the great director
published a book on film theory, Dialéctica del Espectador. ~ Sandra Brennan,
All Movie Guide.