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Buena Vista Social Club [DVD] [FR Import]

4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
Price: £13.73
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Frequently Bought Together

Buena Vista Social Club [DVD] [FR Import] + Buena Vista Social Club + The Essential Cuban Anthology
Price For All Three: £31.87

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Product details

  • Language: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles: French
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005P3NQB2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 345,620 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Guaranteed to make you smile 4 Jan 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I got the video as a christmas present and every time I watch it I end up grinning so much. I agree that some of Ry Cooders more patronising moments are cringeworthy. But the real problem with the film is how inadequate it makes me feel. These beautiful people spend their lives in a beautiful land making beautiful music and making people happy. I don't, but I want to. I've never seen such healthy, joyous old folk before. I'm truly astonished that what is, ostensibly, a music documentary should have such an inspiring effect on me. If you like the music then buy the video, because it really brings it alive.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
I got the CD for Christmas and to be honest, only really like two or three tracks. But the film knocked my socks off.
It's effectively a series of film portraits of great Cuban musicians, a record of their music and a recording of two concerts where they all came together in Amsterdam and in Carnegie Hall. But the sum of its parts is far more than that.
The filming is clever - it moves easily from recording session to interview to monologue to just great music. There's no obvious trickery though I'm sure some slick editing went into making it so watchable. The way the sounds blend between sections is inspired.
Somehow, music that I found annoyingly sentimental and a bit raucous when I listened to it, became wonderfully sentimental and energetic when I was watching it. It's a bit like the difference between seeing a great musician live and listening to a recording. The musicians are clearly enjoying themselves and really feeling the music they're making. I love watching talented improvisers feeding off each other like that. And having fun!
I'm going to listen to the music again, properly, and see if I like it any better now... some of the singing is not really my thing but Gonzalez was so fantastic, and Barbarito Torres, and the percussionist whose name I can't remember...
Partly, there was a feeling that the project (not the film so much as Cooder's recordings with Juan de Marcos Gonzalez) was an attempt to capture this stuff before everyone who knows it dies. But what really shone through was a sense of life, vivacity, and love of music.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A moving documentary 6 May 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Wim Wender's sensitive documentary recounts the lives of each musician from the Buena Vist Social Club (Havana, Cuba) from the distant past to their triumphant revival at Carnegie Hall. Allowing each member the space to speak about the hardships and the good times of their lives, Wenders avoids patronization or flattery, instead presenting lives so affected by the social treatment of Cuba and the disintegration of their musical culture within that context. What make it so moving are the parallels drawn between the crumbling beauty of Havana and the burnished brilliance of the players, who were until recentely presumed dead. For all it's joy though, there is a unaviodable injustice within the film's depiction of a culture brought back to life by the forces which destroyed it for so long. When we see Ibrahim Ferrer walking the streets of New York, themselves symbols of American capitalism, stunned by their 'beauty', one cannot help but be moved by the complicated and tragic history of these two nations.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Cuban Discovery 9 Jan 2006
The Buena Vista Social club is a fascinating look at Afro-Cuban music and concerns itself with US artist Ry Cooder and his dream being fulfilled wherein he records and plays live with some old grand masters of the Cuban sound.
The Cubans are amazing guys with great personalities and incredible life stories. Singer Ibrahim Ferrer and the great pianist, Ruben Gonzalez, are particularly captivating personalities.
The great thing that comes across is the sheer enjoyment of these musicians and the total love that they have for their music.
Superbly filmed by Wim Wenders, the DVD has an excellent director’s commentary that really adds to the movie.
The music is fantastic and certainly made me hunger for more.
A joy from start to finish.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
It would be difficult not to be moved by this truly excellent film.

A group of world class musicians who have been rescued from obscurity by the tenacity of Juan de Marcos González (Afro-Cuban All Stars) and Ry Cooder are given the showcase they deserve. If you have little experience of Cuban Music this DVD is a great introduction as you can see how it works and the characters behind the sound. There is a selection of different styles from the relaxed, intimate love songs of bolero and danzón, to Son, through to the driving celebrations of mambo and rumba.

But don't just buy the DVD for musical ability (though that is outstanding). There is a passion in these musicians that goes far beyond musical ability. Some, such as Rubén González emerge from retirement and Ibrahim Ferrer is encouraged back into singing after working on the streets for more than 10 years. But when these forgotten Cuban legends are united in Egrem Studios, Havana, a spark ignites which is fanned into a flame and ultimately an inferno.

This is also a film about life, hardship, values and ultimately, about a fairy tale ending as they find global recognition through their recordings to perform in Amsterdam and their ultimate 'jewel in the crown', Carnegie Hall, New York in July 1998.

Many of these stars have now sadly passed away, including the recent loss of bass player Orlando 'Cachaíto' López (Feb 2009), but they leave a legecy that has sparked new interest in Cuban music. Wim Wenders' filming is sensitive and provides a real canvas on which to draw the characters.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars love this film
I love this film and was pleased to get a dvd at such a good price. I bought one for me and one for a friend.
Published 4 months ago by gayabandon
5.0 out of 5 stars No idea, never watched it
Totally bought this for my out-laws so I have never actually watched it.
Apparently its a really good film and whatnot about some old cuban guys who play music. Who knows?
Published 7 months ago by Stephen Bradley
4.0 out of 5 stars Buena Vista Social Club Blu-Ray
I already had the movie on DVD and thought that Blu-Ray would offer higher picture and sound quality - but unfortunately not. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Woodperson
5.0 out of 5 stars HIGLY RECOMMEND IT
Published 8 months ago by kristiel chacin ferguson
5.0 out of 5 stars Buena Vista Social Club DVD
A thoroughly enjoyable, and very well made, film and Cuban music documentary, and an immortal piece of muscial history. A superb DVD!
Published 9 months ago by Mrs. Suzanne Roberts
4.0 out of 5 stars A Classic
Fantastic movie. I am not that a fan of documentaries but this movie does have something special. It's great for those who like Cuban music. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Elmano Costa
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
Great sounding documentary with a lot of sightseeing from Cuba.Many live performances from gigs in Amsterdam.Just buy and enjoy .
Published 13 months ago by Patrick Philips
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting
We're off to Cuba soon, so thought this would give us a flavour of the island before we go. Excellent.
Published 14 months ago by Heather Oliver
5.0 out of 5 stars Cuba Isle of Great Jazz Muscicians
This is an interesting DVD to see ,with all the great CUBAN Jazz Muscians to get a glimpse of their tremendous talnt..
Published 14 months ago by Arniegee
5.0 out of 5 stars Romantics only need apply
My title line might be a little severe ~ anyone with an attachment or interest in the country of Cuba should be intrigued by this film. However, true romantics ought to adore it.
Published 19 months ago by J. E. M.Anderson PhD
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