J.B. Spins

Jazz, film, and improvised culture.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Coming Attraction: The Lost City


Last night I attended a screening Andy Garcia’s directorial debut The Lost City. I’ll post a fuller review when it releases April 28th, but I have to say it is one of the best films I’ve seen in a long time, and the music is fantastic. View the trailer here.

Set in Havana during the waning days of Batista, and the first year of the Castro regime, The Lost City accurately depicts the brutality of both dictators. According to internet reports, The Lost City’s principled depiction of the savagery of Che and Castro made it difficult to find a distributor.

Hollywood studios passed on a good thing, but give credit to Magnolia Pictures. This is a well acted, gorgeous looking film. And it sounds great too. Andy Garcia is also an accomplished musician and musical producer, and the soundtrack he composed and assembled is an amazing love letter to Cuban music, featuring great musicians like Justo Almario and the legendary Cachao. You can hear them play with Garcia live at B.B. King’s on 42nd Street April 25th.

The Lost City opens in New York (and White Plains), Los Angles and Miami on the 28th, rolling out to additional cities in succeeding weeks. It is well worth looking for. Since it takes on Hollywood sacred cows, like Che and Castro, this film will need word of mouth support. The film critics of the antique media won’t help. The blogosphere needs to get behind it.

In the meantime, you can check out For Love or Country: the Arturo Sandoval Story on DVD. While not as finely crafted as Lost City, it is an entertaining HBO biopic starring Garcia as Sandoval, the Cuban trumpeter who defected to American with the help of Dizzy Gillespie. Then look for The Lost City on April 28th, or hopefully sometime after. It’s a film that deserves an audience.

(Welcome Michelle Malkin readers. I hope you make J.B. Spins your first destination for jazz reporting and commentary from the right perspective. Thank you to Michelle Malkin for the link.)