Saturday, December 29, 2012

I didn’t get out to the theater much in ‘12

I stumbled across the NBC Latino website on Friday and saw their story about the “Best Hispanic movies of 2012.”

Not that I can give you much insight. Of the five films they picked out, I only saw one of them – Chico & Rita, an animated film telling the story of a couple whose love for each other prevailed across decades of separation.

THE FILM ALSO managed to touch on the jazz music scene in New York in the 1940s and even gave us some intriguing views of pre-Castro Havana – along with its current incarnation.

In animation, Havana and Cuba look almost as romantic as the propaganda machine would have you think they still are.

Although I’m not sure just how strictly the film sticks to facts when it comes to real-life musicians. So I’m not vouching that the death and funeral of Chano Pozo (a conga player) occurred as illustrated in this film.

About the only gripe I can come up with is that it actually was a 2011 film. But it drew so little attention in theaters and took so long to come out on DVD (which I purchased) that I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that many think it is new to this year.

AS FOR THE other films picked by NBC Latino, I can’t say anything about them – other than that they use a broad definition for what constitutes a “Hispanic film.” It seems that just about anything that features a Latino actor in a role other than a maid or a pimp qualifies.

Which makes some sense. After all, the point ought to be showing Latinos in roles other than some ideological nitwit’s narrow stereotype.

I’m also glad that “For Greater Glory” didn’t make it onto their list.

Mexico in the years just after the revolution was a violent time and there were many people who got killed for no real reason (just like those who get caught in the crossfire in our own society these days).

YET THE FILM starring Andy Garcia managed to turn what could have been a serious story into a crusade meant to appease modern-day Catholics who feel that THEY’RE the ones being picked on.

If I want a history lesson out of a feature film (and yes, sometimes I do), I’ll check out Daniel Day-Lewis in “Lincoln,” which, by the way, is the most recent film I have seen.


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