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Ibero American Cinema at Harvard

El cine como historia; la historia como cine: Simposio internacional sobre cine iberoamericanowas held at the Harvard University Film Archive from May 7-9, 2010.

Among the many presenters were Néstor García Canclini (UNAM), who wondered (as did other presenters) whether there is such a thing as Ibero American cinema in this age of co productions, television-sponsored films (HBO), and international financing. Juana Suárez (Univ. of Kentucky) and Gonzalo Aguilar (U. Buenos Aires) spoke about the international and multi-national nature of Ibero American film as well.

Historical memory and documentary film in Spain was a major topic, addressed by Ignacio Oliva Mompeán (Univ. de Castilla-La Mancha), Francisco A. Zurian (Univ. Carlos III) and Josetxo Cerdán (Univ. Rovira I Virgili). Oliva Mompeán discussed films made outside of Spain that address events of the Spanish Civil War: Muerte en el valle (Cristina Hardt) and Land and Freedom (Ken Loach) are two of them; to date few films addressing historical memory of the period have been made in Spain. He referenced the website “Imágenes contra el olvido” (http://www.imagenescontraelolvido.com/) which archives 13 such films.

 

From Cuba, Juan Antonio García Borrero (Camaguey) spoke about “ICAICentrismo” in Cuban film history, mentioning films produced by organizations and people outside of Cuban National Film Institute, and Luciano Castillo (San Antonio de los Baños) discussed the productions of Cuba Sono Film. Both García Borrero and Castillo have published extensively on film in Cuba.

Other notable speakers were Jorge Ruffinelli (Stanford Univ.), who discussed the work of Glauber Rocha while in Cuba; Román Gubern (Univ. de Barcelona), on anti-Semitism in Spanish postwar cinema, and Leonardo García Tsao (Cineteca Nacional de México) on Mexican cinema.

Laura Baigorri (Univ. de Barcelona) gave a presentation on video art in Latin America and discussed the project “Videoarde” (http://videoarde.com/). This presents a series of workshops, links, and publications; she hopes to develop a database of Latin American video art as part of the project.

The Colombian film director Víctor Gaviria presented three of his films: Vendedora de rosas, Medellín: sumas y restas and Rodrigo D no futuro and held discussions after each with Jorge Ruffinelli.

Jet setting librarians Patricia Figueroa (Brown Univ.), Jesús Alonso Regalado (SUNY Albany) and Lynn Shirey (Harvard) were in attendance and purchased copies of titles on Cuban film for their collections.

Lynn Shirey (Harvard University)

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