[act-ma] [Fwd: 10/15 Death of a Bureaucrat part of Cuban Film Screenings at MIT]

July 26th Coalition info at july26.org
Fri Oct 12 20:45:11 PDT 2007

MIT Cuban Film Series

On selected Monday from October 1st through December 10th a different 
Cuban film will be screened. All screenings are free and open to the public.

October 15, 2007
Death of a Bureaucrat
La muerte de un burócrata (1966)

MIT Building 54-100
The Tall building with the weather dome on top and a big hole in the 
ground floor. It's near Ames St. and closer to Kendal Square than Mass. Ave.

*Time*: 7:00 - 9:00 PM

MAP http://whereis.mit.edu/map-jpg?selection=54&Buildings=go

*"mucho funny."*

*Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz*

*This early comedy work by one of Cuba's best filmmakers, that is before 
he got carried away by doing social allegory films, Tomás Gutiérrez Alea 
("Strawberry and Chocolate"/"Memories of Underdevelopment"), is a mucho 
funny black comedy about the horrors of institutionalized red tape. It 
plays as an hommage to silent screen comics such as Buster Keaton and 
Harold Lloyd, the more recent ones such as Laurel and Hardy, and all 
those who, in one way or another, have taken part in the film industry 
since the days of Lumiére.*

*A beloved stone mason and model worker, Francisco 'Paco' Perez, who 
invented a machine to mass-produce statuettes of Cuban hero Jose Martin, 
dies in a factory accident. Paco is lauded by his union comrades at the 
funeral as the perfect worker and is buried with his work card as a 
symbolic eternal gesture to him as a proletariat. But, unfortunately, 
his widow (Silvia Planas) soon learns from a bureaucrat that she can't 
collect a pension for him without the work card. Helped by her 
dim-witted nephew (Salvador Wood), the frustrated widow learns from 
another bureaucrat they cannot obtain an exhumation permit for the first 
two years of a burial. Her hands tied by such absurd red tape, the 
widow's helpers are forced to rob her husband's grave. After stealing 
the body from the cemetery, they are stymied again because they can't 
get a permit to rebury the corpse until they have an exhumation permit. 
The widow thereby becomes reconciled to keeping the corpse at home, but 
runs into difficulties with the health inspectors.*

*Though the pacing is erratic there's great comedy derived from this 
Buñuelian touch of the ridiculous (much more so than it is to giving the 
business to Fidel), a bunch of well-conceived slapstick sketches that 
include a custard pie in your face routine at the cemetery and a clever 
Harold Lloyd routine rip-off as the nephew trapped in a government 
office after closing time escapes by climbing out a window onto a ledge 
in front of a large clock high above the street. *

*REVIEWED ON 4/16/2006        GRADE: B*

*Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"*


*http://www.sover.net/~ozus <http://www.sover.net/%7Eozus>*

The rest of the schedule is as follows:


Rest of the series
October 22, 2007
/Lucía/ (1968)

October 29, 2007
/Memorias del subdesarrollo /(1968)

November 5, 2007
/La última cena /(1976)

November 19, 2007
/Hasta cierto punto/ (1983)

November 26, 2007
/Plaff, o demasiado miedo a la vida/ (1988)

December 3, 2007
/Alicia en el pueblo de Maravillas/ (1991)

December 10, 2007
/Suite Habana/ (2003)

Already shown
/Tonight Las doce sillas/ (1962)/ The Twelve Chairs (1 hr. 31 min.)

Set in post-revolutionary Cuba, the "unreconstructed" Hipolito, his 
rascally servant Oscar, and a hypocritical priest trip over each other's 
heels in an increasingly frantic search for a cache of diamonds 
concealed in one of a set of twelve elegant chairs dispersed throughout 
the countryside after the revolution.

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