The Hands of Bresson

Sundry observations on the art of cinema and world film culture

Hugo, Boss of Cinemaville

leave a comment »

Oliver Stone with Hugo Chavez

Mark Margolis has a great piece in Newsweek on La Villa del Cine, or Cinemaville, “the headquarters for Hugo Chávez’s latest campaign in the struggle for Latin America’s hearts and minds: a state-owned film studio that’s the Venezuelan strongman’s answer to what he denounces as the ‘tyranny’ of Hollywood.”

Chavez is not the first authoritarian leader with celluloid dreams, as an accompanying photo essay reminds us, and it certainly doesn’t hurt to have celebrities like Sean Penn and Oliver Stone (whose latest doc, South of the Border, is a portrait of Chavez) cheering you on.

Mussolini, after all, built the Cinecittà studio. What will Hugowood’s legacy be? Margolis is sceptical, pointing out that most of the producers, directors, and creative talent were recruited from telenovelas, and are now making Bollywood-length features with revolutionary themes. (The studio’s official slogan–which is also the title of Margolis’s feature–is “Lights! Camera! Revolution!”) Not a great combination. Still, there’s a lot to chew on here, especially in light of my last post on Mozambican cinema of the late ’70s.

Advertisements

Written by eyemaster

October 27, 2009 at 1:13 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: