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Selected Documentaries on Cuban Artists and Poets

By Juanamaría Cordones-Cook, University of Missouri

(cordonescookj@missouri.edu

http://romancelanguages.missouri.edu/people/cordones-cook.shtml
http://cordonescook.wix.com/documentaries
 
  1. Cimarroneando con G.H. (2011), 30 minutes long with English subtitles. Direction and production by Juanamaría Cordones-Cook. A candid interview with the poet Georgina Herrera(Jovellanos, Cuba, 1936) discussing personal memories, gender issues, racial relations, and racism in socialist Cuba. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=dxlDAoBZwyo

  2. Nancy Morejón: Paisajes célebres / Famous Landscapes (2013), ca. 54 minutes long with English subtitles. Direction and production by Juanamaría Cordones-Cook. This documentary offers a unique perspective on contemporary Cuban culture and intellectual life through the world and artistic achievements of one of its most celebrated poets, Nancy Morejón (Havana 1944), as well as through the voices and images of prominent Afro-Cuban intellectuals.The music was performed by Richard Egües, Marta Valdés, and Elena Burke. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=B2ZZq8pqHXg

  3. Un libro único de Estévez / A One-of-a-Kind Book by Estévez (2012), ca. 14 minutes long with English subtitles. Direction and production by Juanamaría Cordones-Cook. Comment: the conception and creation of an art-object book on the poem "Amo a mi amo" / “I Love My Master”, by Nancy Morejón. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ud3nQamdxUY&feature=relmfu

  4. La Habana expuesta, un diseño de Estévez / Havana on Display, a Design by Estévez (2012), on anthology of poetry by Nancy Morejón, ca. 21 minutes long with English subtitles. Direction and production by Juanamaría Cordones-Cook. Comment: the design of a book to be reproduced 200 times by the craftsmen and women of Ediciones Vigía as presented by Rolando Estévez Jordán. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk-s31h75Kw&feature=relmfu

  5. Ediciones Vigía: Poéticas visuales / Visual Poetics (2012), ca. 51 minutes long with English subtitles. Direction and production by Juanamaría Cordones-Cook. Comment: the development and evolution of the press, the production of a Vigia book as well as interviews with Vigía craftmen and women, and numerous other outstanding Cuban intellectuals who have been involved with press from its inception, such as poet laureate Nancy Morejón, composer Marta Valdés, art historian Adelaida de Juan, anthropologist Ruth Behar, among others. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iK-dYtsXPmU

  6. Vigía: Entre la imagen y la palabra / Between the Image and the Word (2012), ca. 98 minutes long with English subtitles. Direction and production by Juanamaría Cordones-Cook. A brief panoramic view of the evolution of Ediciones Vigía by its main artist and designer Rolando Estévez Jordán.

  7. Ediciones Vigía (1985-2011): Abriendo archivos / Opening Archives (2013), ca. 7 hours and 30 minutes long with English subtitles. Direction and production by Juanamaría Cordones-Cook. Comment: Vigía’s principal designer and artist, Rolando Estévez Jordán, chronologically discusses the entire collection of books, while highlighting technological developments and changes, as well as innovations in aesthetic languages. This documentary is an audiovisual archive of 27 years of Ediciones Vigía book production. Not a complete record but close. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zAELtCdjKs4

  8. Diago, artista apalencado / A Maroon Artist (2013), ca. 28 minutes long with English subtitles. Direction and production by Juanamaría Cordones-Cook. Comment: presentation of a prominent multimedia artist, Juan Roberto Diago (1972), who employs discarded materials. Diago understands the creative possibilities of recycling and bricolage and enriches his images by juxtaposing graffiti with racially contesting intent. He has labeled himself a “maroon artist” and his art work results in “cultural resistance.” In this documentary, Diago openly discusses issues of race and poverty in contemporary Cuba, as well as their representation in his paintings and installations. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Xp__OR3vxo

  9. Rogelio Martínez Furé: Un griot cubano / A Cuban Griot (2014), ca. 30 minutes with English subtitles. Direction and production by Juanamaría Cordones-Cook. Comment: presentation of a writer, Africanist, scholar of folklore, and religion, and founder of the National Folkloric Ballet. Through conversations with Furé and other prominent Afro-Cuban intellectuals,as well as images of religious rituals and dances of the National Folkloric Ballet and the Olurum Group, film discloses layers of Cuba’s rich cultural heritage and African legacy. It portrays Furé as a contemporary griot, a repository of oral tradition who recovers and guards Afro-Cuban and Caribbean silenced memories and true identity. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-r9ZkwY0Lc

  10. Choco (2014), ca. 29 minutes long with English subtitles. Direction and production by Juanamaría Cordones-Cook. Comment: presentation of Eduardo “Choco” Roca Salazar, an artist who embodies the cultural success of the Cuban Revolution in its promotion of the arts. Born in a working class family in a small town in the Oriente province, Choco graduated from Cuba’s National Superior School of Art and became a world famous print-maker. Documentary shows Choco at work in his Old Havana workshop, as well as visiting his former art school and a vast collection of his art work from the start of his career. Film is enriched by readings by Nancy Morejón and Pablo Milanés, as well as by the music created specially for this film by Miguelito Núñez http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPGWLXSmG4M

  11. El mundo mágico de Mendive / The Magical World of Mendive, ca. 40 minutes long. Direction and production by Juanamaría Cordones-Cook. Comment: Film offers a unique perspective into the personal and artistic world of Manuel Mendive, the leading contemporary Cuban artist. Creating in various genres, drawing, painting, body painting, soft and hard sculpture, installations, and performances, Mendive is also a Santería priest, whose spirituality permeates all of his creations. This documentary shows a broad spectrum of his work including his latest performance in Havana, Las Cabezas (May 2012). Mendive appears painting in his studio as well as in the midst of his tropical forest offering some unprecedented remarks on his early life, on African elements in his art while he discusses his aesthetics and his profound fascination with the creative process. This film is enriched with comments by major Cuban intellectuals, Adelaida de Juan, Nancy Morejón, Pablo Armando Fernández, and Yolanda Wood, as well as with music by Ulises Hernández and Argeliers León. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKpy4XMHexI