[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: The Lost City

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Lost City

I finally got to see The Lost City, Andy Garcia's story of life in Cuba circa 1959, on DVD the other night. I had wanted to see it since it came out in the theatres a while back, but with 2 small kids and a tight schedule, going to the movies isn't the easiest thing to plan.

About the movie...I'll start off by saying that it is far from a cinematic masterpiece. The acting was mostly uninspired and lacked fire, most of the characters could have used more depth, and appearances by Dustin Hoffman as mobster Meyer Lansky, and by pre-1959 dictator Fulgencio Batista (to name a few) were awkward and oddly-timed.

Enough of the negative. The scenery and colors were fantastic, and the music set the mood as well as providing an odd but appropriate dissonance to the sometimes violent scenes. Most of all, Garcia deserves credit for making a movie which exposed the injustices of castro's cuba without sugar-coating the problems which led to castro's revolution. He also properly captured the naivete of many Cubans who either thought that castro was the solution or that he wouldn't last long. I won't give away details about the movie for those of you who decided to wait even longer than me to see it.

I recommend The Lost City, even with its flaws. One thing to keep in mind, it's not a documentary. It's a film which represents the experiences many Cubans lived through in the late 50s and early 60s. It's fiction interspersed with real-life events.

Conductor, inspired by the movie, started writing a series of continuing chapters which I finally was able to read after seeing the movie. I must say he's doing a heck of a job, and it's a must read for those of you have already seen the movie (warning, if you haven't seen the movie, don't read the continuing chapters as there are many spoilers). Conductor adds some much-needed depth to the main characters and their evolution in a new world.

Who knows, maybe Andy Garcia will come knocking on Conductor's door to help out with the sequel.

You can read the continuing chapters here.


Blogger Srcohiba said...

I saw the DVD also this weekend including the Making of the Lost City which was part of the bonus material.

I agree that the acting wasn't the greatest, but it still was a very good film. The best acting in the film was the guy who played Fico's Father; he was fantastic.

Ines was good too; of course I kept calling her names come the latter part of the film.

One of the best line has to be Murray's when he comments about the "widow of the revolution."

My feeling is that they tried to cover too much in a short period and thus it didn't flow as well as I would have liked.

I ordered teh CD SOundtrack too, but it's on backorder for now.

1:55 PM, August 21, 2006  
Blogger Robert said...

Agreed, the actor who played Fico's father did an excellent job, as did the mother.

I'll have to order the soundtrack as well.

2:07 PM, August 21, 2006  
Blogger Henry "Conductor" Gomez said...

A few notes.

First thanks for the plug. I realized that I had an error in my blogs meta tags that were causing a lot of the characters such as quotation marks to be replaced by other characters when viewed with a PC. I have fixed the problem and now it should be OK.

Secondly, I recommend you absorb the movie for a week or two and then see it again. You'll be amazed at how the second viewing will impress you as you start to notice the beautiful locations and everything. Besides you'll be familiar with the story and won't be struggling to follow along. You'll already know the broad strokes but now you'll see the details.

I should be getting my DVD any day now. One thing I like to do with movies that I really like is to watch them with the captioning on. Sometimes you can read lines that are mumbled or inaudible.

2:59 PM, August 21, 2006  
Blogger Srcohiba said...

The locations were stunning especially that pristine beach where Andy and Ines frolicked. I kill for pristine beaches like that.

I also loved the scene which was shot at the Arturo Fuente finca in the Dom. Rep. where they grow those shade wrappers for the Fuente Opus X . . .
I will definately see it again. Heck I bought 3 copies of the movie for family members.

3:46 PM, August 21, 2006  
Anonymous Melek said...


I could not believe it when the other day I walked into Target (in my area in Charleston, SC.) and I found a special release/2 disc edition of The Lost City. :) ... and there were only 2 copies left ... I have not been able to watch the movie, but I can't wait ... then ... look forward to reading Henry's sequel ... I wish you well
:) Melek

"The inherent vice of capitalism is the uneven division of blessings, while the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal division of misery." ~ Churchill

10:41 PM, August 23, 2006  
Blogger Srcohiba said...

wow...did not know there was a 2 disc special edition. what's the diffeence on it?

11:20 PM, August 23, 2006  
Anonymous Melek said...


I still have not watched it. It's a "bonus" disc which contains:
Making of "The Lost City" - extended version; Bill Murray "The Last Day"; "Guajira Clasica" from the soundtrack; deleted scenes with commentary by Andy Garcia; Behind the Scenes photo gallery, and notes from Cast and Crew.
As I said, I was surprised to see that it was a limited release for Target ... only $19.99.

I wish you well :) Melek

12:52 PM, August 24, 2006  
Blogger Robert said...

My copy has several of those features as well, but it's on a single disc. I got it at Wal Mart.

6:18 PM, August 24, 2006  

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