Tag Archives: Fernando Pérez

Fernando Pérez – José Martí: el ojo del canario AKA Martí, the Eye of the Canary (2010)

This historical drama, depicting different phases in the late childhood and youth of the so-called “Apostle of Cuba” José Martí, is most of the time a biopic full of commonplaces often found in this genre, directed by Fernando Pérez, one of the most respected names in Cuban cinema.

Narrated in four movements, in the first two (“Bees” and “Arias”), the 9 year old Martí (endearingly played by Damián Rodríguez) is bullied in school by schoolmates and abused by his schoolmaster, while he learns notions of justice and oppression from his father. He discovers the beauties of Mother Nature with an old slave, explores his sexuality and enters into the world of high art in a Havanan theater. The boy also becomes aware of the high price a poor child has to pay for education. Read More »

Fernando Pérez – Clandestinos (1987)

“Clandestinos” is the second film in First Run Film’s new Cuban Masterworks Collection and it is a dynamite film. It is a tense political thriller which centers on the romance between two Cuban revolutionaries as they fight for their lives against the secret service of Batista in the 1950’s. The film is based on actual events which occurred during the early days on the revolution in Cuba. Read More »

Fernando Pérez – La vida es silbar AKA Life is to Whistle (1998)

The film tells the stories of three end-of-the millennium Cubans, whose lives intersect on the Day of Santa Barbara (the African Saint Chango, ruler of destinies). Mariana, a ballerina, ponders breaking chastity vows she made to land the coveted role of Giselle; Julia has fainting spells each time she hears the word “sex,” and Elpidio, a musician, seduces a gringa tourist while Bebe, the narrator, takes us for a taxi ride along the streets of Havana. In Life Is to Whistle, Fernando Perez displays the same cinematographic lyricism that won his first film, Madagascar, the Special Recognition in Latin American Cinema award at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival. Read More »