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Kinocuban: the significance of Soviet and East European cinemas for the Cuban moving image

Smith Mesa, V.A.; (2011) Kinocuban: the significance of Soviet and East European cinemas for the Cuban moving image. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Kinocuban: the significance of Soviet and East European cinemas for the Cuban moving image examines a piece of evidence that has been misunderstood in the existing body of Cuban film studies. The first revolutionary legislation concerning the arts was the creation of the ICAIC in 1959, a fact that demonstrates the importance of cinema for the new cultural project. This thesis argues that the moving image was radically affected by the proclamation of the socialist character of the Revolution on 16 April 1961. What was it that the distant audiovisual culture, film theories and practices of the Soviet-bloc offered Cubans? Is it not the case that Soviet-bloc cinemas had an influence upon the shaping of the Cuban moving image, if one takes into consideration the very few films co-produced in 30 years? It should be stressed that during this period, the moving image was the direct or indirect effect of the different waves that arrived in Cuba from ‘the other’ Europe, which were born at the same time as the first films that were co-produced in the 1960s, particularly from the unique experience of Mikhail Kalatozov’s masterpiece Soy Cuba. The present study reveals that the most important outcome from that influence was the conceptualisation of the cinematic discourse of the Revolution, so well represented in ICAIC and its socialist films of commitment. The experience included the introduction of new practices in television in order ‘to de-colonize’ the moving image. KinoCuban analyses the impact on four main subjects: film theory and criticism; film administration; the filmmakers’ works (films, videos, and television practices) and the spectator. KinoCuban works within the area of postcolonial studies and takes Ortiz’s transculturation as its starting point. KinoCuban argues that the experience was a process of give and take, thus ‘lo exacto es hablar de continuidad’.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Kinocuban: the significance of Soviet and East European cinemas for the Cuban moving image
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of EU Langs, Culture and Society > Spanish and Latin American Studies

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