In Calle 54, Madrid-based filmmaker Fernando Trueba explores the wide and wonderful world of Latin jazz: a hybrid genre that fuses the clave, samba, flamenco, merengue, and other rhythms from Africa, the Iberian peninsula, and the Americas. The film's Spanish title takes its name from Sony Music Studios located on 54th Street in Manhattan, where a who's who of musicians were filmed and recorded. They range from Brazilian bombshell keyboardist Eliane Elias and enigmatic Argentine tenor saxophonist Gato Barbieri, to the fiery rumba group Puntilla y Nueva Generacion.
The music and musicians of Cuba and Puerto Rico dominate this documentary, and the most touching scene is the emotional father-and-son reunion of Cuban pianists Bebo and Chucho Valdés, who were separated by Fidel Castro's revolution. Sadly, the film features the last onscreen appearances by the late composer-arranger Chico O'Farrill and the legendary timbales master Tito Puente. Simply put, Calle 54 is a documentary that dances. --Eugene Holley Jr.
Join us after the film for a talk back with USF professor Roberto Jiménez. Roberto Jiménez hails from Puerto Rico has a B.A. and an M.A. in Spanish Languages and Literatures from the University of South Florida. He is currently working on his Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Education at USF. His research interests include exploring the ethics of solidarity, interdependence, and nonviolence in global citizenship education.
Film Title/Date: Calle 54 (2012)
Language / Subtitles: Spanish with English subtitles
Closed Captions available?: yes
Directed by: Fernando Trueba
Starring: Gato Barbieri, Cachao, Michel Camilo, Chano Dominguez, Paquito D'Rivera
Duration / Run Time: 1 hour and 46 minutes