Guillén Landrián o el desconcierto fílmico: Book Launch Recap

By: Melisa Redondo, CLACS MA Candidate

On September 24, CLACS hosted a Zoom event for the launch of Guillén Landrián o el desconcierto fílmico. The book co-edited by Julio Ramos and Dylon Robbins, features essays by various authors on the recently re-discovered work of Cuban filmmaker Guillén Landrián. 

Before the event, participants were encouraged to watch some of Guillén Landrián’s short films shot during the first years after the 1959 Cuban Revolution. The event featured presentations by the editors, and one of the book’s contributors, Cuban scholar Odette Casamayor Cisneros. 

This book is the result of the rediscovery of the filmmaker’s production, which had been censored and afterward forgotten until a new generation of filmmakers and critics, around the year 2000, rediscovered it and transformed it into a figure of a major revision of the history of Cuban cinema of the Revolution.

The editors and the contributor made presentations about different aspects of Nicolás Guillén Landrián’s filmography. All three presenters agreed that one of the elements that make Landrián’s filmography distinctive is the way in which Cuban society is portrayed. The filmmaker became a part of what he wanted to show. He was particularly interested in depicting Cuba from the inside.

After the discussion, an engaged audience of 28 people formulated questions that inspired a conversation on the beginnings of the project, the ways in which Landrián problematized the categories of representation in his cinema, and how he changed the role of the dancing body during the revolution through his depictions.

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