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Buena Vista Social Club [DVD] [FR Import]

4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
Price: £9.99
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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: £28.90

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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 (61 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005P3NQB2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 373,608 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 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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36 of 37 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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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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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Cuban Discovery 9 Jan 2006
By scoon2 VINE VOICE
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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best feel-good film of last century 5 April 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Evin if you have no interest in the music, the place or the lifestyle, Buena Vista will sweep you off your feet. A marvellous documentary of the participants in the Buena Vista Social Club operation that was a sell out success, it is packed with some of the most moving performances of Cuban music ever. The narrative is captivating and summarises the life and times of these legendary musicians as well as a little of the history and culture of Cuba. The only irritation is the aggravating presence of Ry Cooder throughout, but it is well worth it. Don't buy the album, invest in the video instead and watch it every day as the sunsets overhead. This is what life is all about.
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15 of 16 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 Fantastic
I remember this film being shown in an Art Cinema soon after initial release, the first and only film I have ever seen receive a standing ovation at every showing!
Published 1 day ago by Christopher Gibbs
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very good
Published 7 days ago by Jorn Haugaard
5.0 out of 5 stars How could you not love the BVSC
A lovely story and very special music. How could you not love the BVSC.
Published 8 days ago by M.Hellings,
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
This is a classic film about a most important event in modern music
Published 19 days ago by Dave Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it!
~great, I love it!!! Had the CD for a while now, played every day.
Published 21 days ago by jeanette probert
5.0 out of 5 stars what an amazing story, of so much talent
Wow, what an amazing story, of so much talent. Viva!!
Published 21 days ago by Patricia Clowes
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic, Great film with the best ever sound track
This is a timeless great. On all levels this rings true.As a film ,Cuba then still with Castro ,people and the MUSIC
Published 2 months ago by mark fairweather
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 8 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 11 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 11 months ago by Woodperson
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