Buena Vista Social Club

Synopsis: A group of legendary Cuban musicians, some as old as their nineties, were brought together by Ry Cooder to record a CD. In this film, we see and hear some of the songs being recorded in Havana. There is also footage from concerts in Amsterdam and New York City's Carnegie Hall. In addition, many of the individual musicians talk about their lives in Cuba and about how they got started in music.
Director(s): Wim Wenders
Production: Artisan Entertainment
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 20 wins & 10 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
105 min

This is a famous photo of mine

Taken during the October missile

crisis outside the Hotel Riviera

The whole Malecon was full of

anti-aircraft guns and cannons

We were expecting a US invasion

I took this one in 1959,

in Washington

Fidel laid a wreath

before Abraham Lincoln

It's called 'David and Goliath'

The little man and the giant

These are Che Guevara and Fidel

playing golf

Who won?


Che let him win

Ah, the Buena Vista Social Club!

Compay Segundo! Hello!

We should ask these people

Let's ask the old folks where

the Buena Vista Social Club is

He'll know

- We're looking for the Social Club

- The Buena Vista?

Oh, that's long gone

The Buena Vista was...let's see.

You go up that way...

- It was No 48

- Yes, but it's no longer there

OK, tell us where

It used to be

Look, you go up that way,

and you'll find it

- You used to dance there?

- Sure I did

I was born near there.

It's a private house now

Go on the dual carriageway

It's that house, the one with

a line painted on the door

It's been gone since 1944.

We've lived here since then

I remember they used to throw

parties at the Buena Vista

In its day, the best bands

in Cuba played there

Know what I eat when I've had

too much to drink? Chicken soup

You take a piece of chicken neck

and you fry it

When it's no longer bloody,

you toss in some chopped garlic

You can still see

part of the bar

You eat that and you won't

have a hangover

That's how I stay fit.

Best thing there is

FromAlto Cedro,

I'm going to Marcane

I get to Cueto,

then go to Mayari

The love I have foryou,

I cannot deny

My mouth is watering.

I can't help myself

Juanita and Chan Chan,

play togetheron the beach

How herbottom shakes.

How Chan Chan is aroused

Clear the path ofdry cane leaves

Because I want to sit down

On that trunk over there.

Orl might not make it

Asleep in my garden

Amid the gladioli and the roses

And the white lilies

My soul feels sad and heavy

From the flowers I wish to hide

my bitterpain

I don't want

the flowers to know...

the torments

that life gives me

If they knew

what I'm suffering...

...formy sorrows,

they would cry as well


for they are asleep

The gladioli and the lilies

I don't want them

to know my sorrows

Forif they see me crying,

they'll die.

Omara Portuondo!

I, lbrahim Ferrer Planas...

...was born in a small town,

in Santiago de Cuba

San Luis

I am the son of Aurelia Ferrer

Registered as her natural son

I say this because...

...l'd like you all

to know from me...

...who I am and what I am

At the age of twelve...

I lost my mother

I had already lost my father.

I was an orphan

I was my mother's only child

So I had to look after myself

I was at school,

where I had friends

But I had to abandon

my studies then

Life at that time wasn't

what it is now

It was harder.

You had to fend for yourself

Do you need a hand?

Ruben and I were just

taking it easy

Ruben loves to improvise,

and so do l. Let things flow

So, I started singing. I said

Compadre, pick up this tune

Two Gardenias foryou

With them I mean to say

I love you, I adore you

Pay them allyourmind.

They'll be your heart and mine

Ry Cooder heard it, too

When he arrived, I had just sung

that number. To loosen up

And he recorded it

Two Gardenias foryou

With them I mean to say...

...l love you. I adore you

Pay them allyourmind.

They'll be your heart and mine

Two gardenias foryou

With all the warmth ofa kiss

Kisses you'll neverfind

in the arms ofanother

They'll live beside you,

and talk to you as I do

And you'll believe they're saying

"l love you"

But ifone evening,

my love's gardenias should die

It's because they'll

have discovered...

...thatyou've betrayed me

for the love ofanother

My name is Omara Portuondo

I was born here in Havana

in the area known as Cayo Hueso

My father was a famous

baseball player

He was one of the first Cubans

to play outside his country

They took Cuban baseball

To the US

My parents used to relax after lunch

and sing a few songs

They would sing duets

And that's how my love of

Cuban music began

I started singing La Bayamesa

when I was a little girl

My father would sing the lead voice,

and I'd sing the back-up

The song I've recorded here,

Viente Anos...

...has won a Grammy

I've known it since

I was a child

What matterifl love you,

ifyou don't love me any more?

A love which is in the past

should no longerbe remembered

I was the love ofyourlife,

once so very long ago

But now I'm part of the past,

and I can't agree to that

Ifall the things we want

were within ourgrasp...

...then you'd love me

still as much...

...as twenty years ago

With sadness we watch

ourlove fade away

A part ofoursouls

so heartlessly torn apart

Here on the beach,

how Maria enjoys herself

Here on the beach,

Maria, howyou excite me

I was born in 1907

On the coast, by the sea.

In Siboney

I lived there with my father

He was a train driver,

in the magnesium mines

I lived in Siboney

until the age of nine

That's when my grandmother died

Then I moved to Santiago de Cuba

with my brothers

I wasn't allowed to leave Siboney

until my grandmother died

She put it this way:

"Until I die, my grandson..."

that's me "... cannot leave my side"

I used to light her cigars

I was only five

And she'd say "Light me a cigar"

And I did, from the age of five

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Wim Wenders

Ernst Wilhelm "Wim" Wenders (German: [vɪm vɛndɐs]; born 14 August 1945) is a German filmmaker, playwright, author, photographer, and a major figure in New German Cinema. Among many honors, he has received three nominations for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature: for Buena Vista Social Club (1999), about Cuban music culture, Pina (2011), about the contemporary dance choreographer Pina Bausch, and The Salt of the Earth (2014), about Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado. One of Wenders' earliest honors was a win for the BAFTA Award for Best Direction for his narrative drama Paris, Texas (1984), which also won the Palme d'Or at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival. Many of his subsequent films have also been recognized at Cannes, including Wings of Desire (1987), for which Wenders won the Best Director Award at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival. Wenders has been the president of the European Film Academy in Berlin since 1996. Alongside filmmaking, he is an active photographer, emphasizing images of desolate landscapes. He is considered to be an auteur director. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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