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5.0 out of 5 stars beware region codes!!
This DVD came out of the U.K. market. I didn't know that I would
be unable to view it on my DVD player due to region blocks...............very disappointing!

I was able to view it on my laptop by changing the region code.
Not exactly what I would prefer as the stereo system attached to my TV and DVD are
far superior to my laptop.

Once...
Published 2 months ago by Catherine Duffield

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible sound editing trivializes the experience
Yes, I saw the movie. I had reveled in music like this on another compilation titled 'Cuba Classics: Dancing with the Enemy'. But the movie destroys the sense of how these musicians rhythmically mesh with and play off of each other.
This is not sopping-wet-with-ego rock music, for Pete's sake! This is genuine virtuoso Cuban dance music, but Cooder and his crew, when...
Published on March 25 2002 by Phil Rogers


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5.0 out of 5 stars beware region codes!!, May 5 2014
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This DVD came out of the U.K. market. I didn't know that I would
be unable to view it on my DVD player due to region blocks...............very disappointing!

I was able to view it on my laptop by changing the region code.
Not exactly what I would prefer as the stereo system attached to my TV and DVD are
far superior to my laptop.

Once I got to view I loved the actual DVD!!

Catherine in Canada
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, nice combination of studio, street and concert, June 30 2013
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This review is from: Music Makers: Buena Vista Social Club [Import] (DVD)
I really enjoyed the movement through Cuba, from the gathering of musicians, what they are about, the studio work and the concert. It was quite seamless moving through the scenes and keeping the music flowing. I really enjoyed it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Buena vista social club, Feb. 10 2013
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I already had this film on VHS but this concert is really a jewel, so I'll look at it over and over. A musical treasure
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully touching, Sept. 3 2012
By 
cbgb (Southern California) - See all my reviews
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A Remarkable documentary for all of the reasons stated by others. A touching tribute to now mostly deceased musicians/singers from Cuba's heyday - well it was a heyday of sorts for those whose fame came from their individual Social Clubs. During the popularity of such clubs, the people Cuba were segregated racially, socially and economically and the only way people of colour could get into upscale places, was as performer or as worker, for they could not attend as patrons. You see the piano virtuosity of Ruben Gonzalez, the sweetness and beauty of Ibrahim Ferrer's singing, the rakish Compay Segundo in his 40's era American car, and his stated wish to have more children at possibly 95? Omara Portuondo's duets with Ibrahim are touching as well as the many other musicians and singers too vast to mention, but what remarkable and touching examples of the human spirit under the worst conditions yet remaining so connected with their craft. Eventually they make it to the Carnegie Hall during which time they ride in a limosine, go to the observation tower of the Empire State Bldg., and walk around at night exclaiming how beautiful it all is, akin to children taking their first train ride. It is a priceless and tear-jerking experience that all who love music must see...it will change your life!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The tapestry of life through their music, March 12 2004
By A Customer
A previous writer's comment, "The movie needs a story, a thread going all the way through," illustrates a major difference between North American and Hispanic thinking. While those of northern European descent tend to think and talk in a more or less linear fashion, as if following just one thread, Hispanics tend to think and talk as if weaving a tapestry of many threads. This film captures perfectly the tapestry effect in that you are not aware that a story is being told until the final scene at Carnegie Hall, when the impact, and the import, of the entire picture becomes crystal clear. You have to be comfortable with not knowing exactly where you are to handle this kind of exposition. If this is not a story of excellence forgotten and rediscovered, I don't know what it is. These people give me hope; their lives tell so many important stories! If I can create half the beauty in my old age as they do and have done with their music, I'll consider myself successful and fulfilled, indeed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stroke of Genius, Jan. 18 2004
By 
Cecil Fox (Little Rock, AR United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
If you have never been to Cuba, this is a mildly amusing documentary about a chapter in the history of carribean music. If, however, you have walked through the neigborhood of Buena Vista on 70th Street in La Habana or watched the sun go down from the Malecón at the mouth of the Rio Almendares this film will make your mouth go dry and your eyes water. Vim Wenders and Ry Cooder, quite by accident discovered a cache of musicians who had played in the forties in a Cabaret called the Buena Vista Social Club that is now long gone. They have common characteristics, they are old, they were forgotten and they were and are incredibly gifted. Some have now died in their eighties and nineties. They were rescued and recorded in the nick of time. The film is apolitical and was shot digitally without apology. The CD from the sound track sold gozillions of copies and raised the export of Cuban music and musicians to be a world treasure. The type of music is called "son" and arose from the Danzon (the big dance) of the early part of the century. Played by three to six musician with uncomplicated instruments, you get to meet each of them individually. Collectively, son is "guajiro" or country boy music. The stars, including Compay Segundo, Eliades Ochoa and the charming Ibrahim Ferrar will become perpetually embedded in your memory. Until this country comes to its senses you will be deprived of the experience of this touching world, but until then you can enjoy it vicariously at the Buena Vista Social Club.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How could you think anything else?, Aug. 21 2003
By 
Darleen Thorig (San Diego, Ca United States) - See all my reviews
I was told to watch this DVD by my daughters who were captivated by this documentary of muscial talents. I was not sure I would, could, relate to their "tastes" in musical and artist splender, until I watched the DVD of "The Buena Vista Social Club". Such an amazing story, such brillant musical tallent; it's impossible to describe! You have to see it to "experience" the "Buena Vista Social Club".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible sound editing trivializes the experience, March 25 2002
By 
Phil Rogers (Ann Arbor, Michigan) - See all my reviews
Yes, I saw the movie. I had reveled in music like this on another compilation titled 'Cuba Classics: Dancing with the Enemy'. But the movie destroys the sense of how these musicians rhythmically mesh with and play off of each other.
This is not sopping-wet-with-ego rock music, for Pete's sake! This is genuine virtuoso Cuban dance music, but Cooder and his crew, when isolating each individual musician, decided to turn down the volume of all the other parts! How ridiculous! There were only a very few short segments when you get to hear how the ensemble actually sounds like. I mean, what's the point?
Many of the instruments (such as the piano) which are used almost exclusively as melodic/harmonic instruments in our culture are more engaged in for their rhythmic propensities in Cuba and Africa. Isolating them like this completely kills the sense that this is music.
And then oftentimes when the whole ensemble is playing, the engineer dials in so much reverb that it muddies up the mux. Again, you lose the sense of what Cuban music is, and how it sounds. What right do these guys have to make roots music sound something like reverb-drenched heavy metal? There's a difference between freedom of speech and free dumb of screech!

I was very surprized a couple of years after the movie to be in a coffee shop here in town and hear some absolute kick-butt old-style Cuban music playing on their stereo. I asked what it was, and found that it was the the original 'Buena Vista Social Club' CD compilation which came out sometime prior to the movie and inspired it. This CD did not have the problems at all that came with the later video/movie, at least not the cuts I got to listen to.
Note that if you don't know this type music very well, the documentary parts of the movie are excellent . . . probably at least 4 stars for that, probably more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars High hopes after hearing CD, but movie disappoints..., July 23 2000
By A Customer
I am mystified by the reviews below - this is one of the worst documentaries I've ever seen!
Despite having access to all of the great musicians in the Buena Vista Social Club, WE LEARN NEXT TO NOTHING ABOUT THESE PEOPLE. In all honesty, I found out more about the musicians from the two page bios that were included on the "About the Musicians" section of the DVD, than I did from watching the movie.
Don't get me wrong, the music is great... but I have the CD! The great music was what caused me to buy this movie. I got the sense through the entire movie that it had been quickly thrown together to help sell more CD's.
I was hoping to find out more about the artists who made such beautiful music on the CD... What were their careers like? Who were their influences? What were the major events in their lives? How did Cuban culture influence them and their music? NO SUCH LUCK. We are treated to a short 2-3 min. synopsis of how each musician became a musician, and that's it - quick cut to a live performance of a song!
It's really tragic that the producers of this movie did not put as much effort into it as they did the CD (which is awesome). This could have been a really great documentary.
MY ADVICE TO PEOPLE WHO LIKED THE CD - IF YOU JUST WANT TO SEE SOME OF THE SONGS ON THE CD PERFORMED LIVE, THEN THIS IS FOR YOU, BUT IF YOU WANT TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE ARTISTS WHO MADE THE MUSIC, I WOULD THINK TWICE...
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5.0 out of 5 stars I wish I was a Carnegie in '98 to See them, May 17 2004
By 
Angelo M. Sanchez (Richmond, Texas United States) - See all my reviews
I wish was could have been a Carnegie Hall in '98 to see this group. I watched this DVD with tears in my eyes because I knew this was era and a set of legends that will fade into time. I will try to teach my children of their contribution to the spirit of music in my life time and a culmination Afro-Cuban but most of all the spirit of the Americas!!!
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