Coming soon: a new book looks at the figure of Ernest Hemingway on Cuban screens

New book about Hemingway in Cuban moving-image media. El mito Hemingway en el audiovisual cubano (The Hemingway myth in Cuban audiovisual production), by scholar Miryorly Garcia (b. Havana, 1978), will debut at Cuba’s 21st International Book Fair. Published by ICAIC Editions, the book discusses how the author of The Old Man and the Sea became a universal myth, and explores the version of the writer presented in Cuban film. Garcia’s thesis is that “the figure of Hemingway has been treated in an overly apologetic way, dehumanizing the kind of person he was.” The American writer lived in Cuba from 1938 to 1960, and from 1954 to the present day he has figured in more than 40 Cuban films, TV programs, and videos, including the feature films Memories of Underdevelopment (Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, 1968, considered one of the best Latin American films ever made) and Hello Hemingway (1990) by Fernando Pérez.

Cine Cubano, La Pupila Insomne hits a thousand. Cine Cubano, La Pupila Insomne, the popular blog about Cuban cinema, its criticism, and its public has reached a significant milestone: a thousand entries. Created and maintained from the province of Camagüey by eminent critic, researcher, and essayist Juan Antonio García Borrero Cuba (b. Camagüey, 1964), the blog celebrates its 5th anniversary this month to great acclaim. Created by Borrero and others, the thousand posts focus on one main theme: stories of Cuban cinema. Borrero´s only rule is “to respect those who share their ideas.” The blog’s texts, Borrero has said, have the virtue of recording “a fragment of that ineffable thing that, in this period of human existence, has been called Cuban audiovisual.” Excerpts from these texts are already part of the Bloguerías book, published by the Ácana Editorial, Camagüey, and it is expected that Union Editions will soon publish an expanded version of the volume, under the same title as the blog.

Reynaldo Miravalles returns to film in Cuba. Esther, Somewhere is a novel by Cuban writer, editor, and screenwriter Eliseo Alberto (Lichy) Diego, who moved to Mexico in 1992 and passed away last year. It’s also the title of the novel’s film adaptation, which goes before the cameras this spring with Cuban filmmaker Gerardo Chijona, award-winning director of Boleto al paraíso (Ticket to Paradise, 2010), at the helm. The script was written by Chijona himself in collaboration with playwright and theater director Eduardo Eimil, who had been his pupil in this subject at the International School of Film and Television in San Antonio de los Baños (EICTV). Taking one of the leading roles is Reynaldo Miravalles, the popular actor in Cuban TV and film who has lived in Miami since 1994. Miravalles will travel to Cuba in March to start rehearsing and then filming in April. The Cuban film is an ICAIC-Peruvian co-production that features several important Cuban actors, including Enrique Molina (the other protagonist), Daisy Granados, Paula Ali, Albert Pujols and Laura de la Uz.

New film by Daniel Díaz Torres. This year, director Daniel Díaz Torres will release La Pelicula de Ana (The Film About Ana), a Cuban (ICAIC)-Panamanian-Austrian co-production currently in production. The idea for the script came from Cuban actress Tamara Morales, and was co-written by Díaz Torres and Eduardo del Llano, screenwriter and director (Nicanor DecalogueVinci, 2011). The film tells the story of Ana, a 30 year-old actress facing bad luck and economic problems. Responding to this dire situation, she decides to assume, in real life, the role of a prostitute. According to the director, the film addresses the issue of prostitution “in a broader context,” not only from the sexual perspective but as a type of profession, and the emotional hazards of such work. Laura de la Uz plays the role of Ana, giving a remarkable performance in a film made with a comedic touch (though still dramatic, says Díaz Torres, whose stated goal is to “move” audiences). With elements of a “film within a film,” The Film About Ana plays with the so-called pseudo-documentary style as well.