The Buena Vista Social Club - rated - HOT! HOT! HOT!

(Review from the 1999 Sydney Film Festival)

What a fabulous juxtaposition: a film about the cult of youth is followed by a film dedicated to the glory of the elderly! Wim Wenders produces a wonderful documentary about these talented old Cuban musicians and the music they make. Their music is uplifting, and so is the film. Ry Cooder tries to receed into the background so as to leave the film to the Cubans, and they are more than equal to the task. They are stars, and Wenders allows their own personalities to dominate.

Some judicious editing gives the film a great dramatic arc - in reality the end of the tale was anticlimactic, but Wenders downplays that aspect and gives us the triumph of true talent and persistence instead. Wenders camera is so intimate and alert that it manages to capture private moments of incredible beauty and tenderness.