Classic Cuban films to be restored
Luciano Castillo, director of Cuba’s Cinemateca, announced on Sunday that the U.S. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will help restore the negatives of two films from the outstanding Cuban filmmaker Tomas “Titon” Gutierrez Alea.
Castillo told local newspaper Rebel Youth that the two films, “A Cuban Fight Against Demons” (1971) and “The Survivors” (1979), will be re-released once the restoration work is completed, which is expected to be during the Havana Festival in December.
“Titon” Gutierrez Alea (1928-1996) directed works such as the well-known “Strawberry and Chocolate” (1993), the comedies “Guantanamera” (1995) and the “Death of a Bureaucrat” (1966), and the world-famous “Memories of Underdevelopment” (1968), among others.
Castillo also mentioned another restoration project.
“We held talks with the Department of Film at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). They have launched a great project which encompasses the age of classic cinema between 1932 and 1960 from Argentina, Mexico and Cuba,” said Castillo.
For Cuba, UCLA will help restore the negatives of five films, including the “Chaste of Oak” (1954) directed by Manuel Alonso and “Cuba Dances” (1960) directed by Julio Garcia Espinosa.
Espinosa’s film was the first production after the Cuban Revolution and a copy of the film on 35 mm tape disappeared.
“We are looking into working with France on “The Other Christopher” (1963) by Armand Gatti. This was the first Cuban-French co-production,” mentioned Castillo about other plans in the pipeline.
Several years ago, Cuba’s Cinemateca asked for international help to recover the archives that were lost or damaged in Cuba’s turbulent past. However, it was not possible to save all the important tapes.