Cuban film “La muerte de un burócrata” (1966, Tomás Gutiérrez Alea) on June 14th at the Palace Theatre

Cuban film “La muerte de un burócrata” (1966, Tomás Gutiérrez Alea) on June 14th at the Palace Theatre

Latin American Cinemateca of Los Angeles

In collaboration with the Los Angeles Conservancy’s Last Remaining Seats film series

Presents the 1966 Cuban dark comedy

La muerte de un burócrata” directed by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea and featuring music by the legendary composer, Leo Brouwer

June 14, 2017 at the Palace Theatre in Downtown L.A.

Vesper Public Relations. Los Angeles, CA. April 2017.  Latin American Cinemateca of Los Angeles (LACLA)  in collaboration with the Los Angeles Conservancy’s Last Remaining Seats film series, will present the Cuban film La muerte de un burócrata (1966, Tomás Gutiérrez Alea) on June 14th at the Palace Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles’ historic theatre district.

This event, a mini film festival experience with beverages, music, special guest Q&A, is co-presented with the Los Angeles Conservancy.

La muerte de un burócrata is centered on the predicament of a hapless nephew (Salvador Wood) to retrieve the ID of his recently deceased uncle, a model worker and inventor. His widow (Silvia Planas) placed it in the coffin, but now needs it, admonished by a bureaucrat that she will not get a pension without this piece of identification.  But the bureaucrat in the cemetery tells him no exhumation is possible without a court order.  A clandestine operation yields the coffin, but the nephew has to wheel it back to their home when the police unexpectedly show up.  (Imagine the depredations of the Caribbean heat on an unrefrigerated cadaver). The farce escalates, the lampooning of recognizable government employees gets more ridiculous, and some sacred cows are turned upside down – like socialist realist art, and the fact that everybody is equal but some are more equal than others

Tomás Gutiérrez Alea was a fervent supporter of the Cuban revolution, but good director that he was, his pictures never toe an overt propaganda line.  They are aligned with the tenets of the regime but at the level of form, they are an artist’s creative take on the medium.  La muerte de un burócrata is a case in point, both in content and style.  Fifty years after it was made, La muerte is still a refreshing, almost post-modern, satire on the plague of bureaucracy … under any type of government and organization.

Gutiérrez Alea uses the conventions of satire to blast the bureaucratic mindset that reduces life to a succession of absurdities, with witty homages to films and directors, in the guise of scenes filmed a variety of comedic styles: the assembly line of Chaplin’s Modern Times, the clock from which Harold Lloyd hangs in Safety Last, Dracula’s fangs, the pie fights of Laurel and Hardy, a scattered and curvaceous Cuban Marilyn Monroe, and surrealist dreams like those of Buñuel. The potpourri works very well, and gets hearty laughs from the audience. By Maria Elena de Las Carreras, Ph.D.

Noteworthy to mention, the film features music by the legendary composer, Leo Brouwer, who currently resides in Cuba.

La muerte de un burócrata: Directed by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea. Screenplay by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea. Starring Salvador Wood, Silvia Planas, Manuel Estanillo. Music by Leo Brouwer. Cinematography by Ramón F. Suárez. Edited by Mario González. Produced by Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industrias Cinematográficos. Released July 24, 1966. Running time 85 minutes. Country, Cuba. Language, Spanish.

What: La muerte de un burócrata  the 1966Tomás Gutiérrez Alea film, featuring music by legendary composer Leo Brouwer. Co-presented by LACLA and Los Angeles Conservancy

When: Wednesday, June 14, 2017, 8:00 PM

Where:Palace Theatre – 630 South Broadway | Los Angeles, CA90014 in Downtown Los Angeles’ Historic Theatre District.

Tickets can be purchased through the L.A. Conservancy at the following link.ócrata-palace-theatre

Social Media: #LastRemainingSeats #LaMuerteDeUnBurocrataCuba

Check out the 2017 Last Remaining Seats lineup at the following link.

About LACLA: Latin American Cinemateca of Los Angeles ( LACLA) is a California non-profit organization dedicated to promoting cultural exchange through film by screening classic and contemporary films from Latin America and by USA Latinas and Latinos. LACLA also supports the film and media efforts of Los Angeles inner-city middle and high school students with its annual student film festival.

About Last Remaining Seats: Last Remaining Seats is the Los Angeles Conservancy’s annual series of classic films in historic theatres. The series began in 1987 as a way to draw attention to the spectacular yet overlooked and underused historic theatres of Los Angeles. The film series has since become a summer tradition, drawing thousands of people from the region, the nation, and outside the U.S.

About the Los Angeles Conservancy: The Los Angeles Conservancy is a nonprofit membership organization that works through education and advocacy to recognize, preserve, and revitalize the historic architectural and cultural resources of Los AngelesCounty. What began as a volunteer group in 1978 now has more than 6,000 member households, making the Conservancy the largest local organization of its kind in the U.S.


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