7 Days in Havana
Directed by Benicio del Toro, Gaspar Noe and five others
Cornerhouse, 15 July 2012
You have seven short films, each made by a different director, altogether covering a week in the Cuban capital.
They’re pretty much all engaging, the predominant cinematic register being wry, slightly quirky, open-ended…
An exception is Gaspar Noe’s Ritual, a mesmerising, dialogue-free film with a pounding beat. It is about a father’s attempt to purge his wayward daughter’s heart of a forbidden desire: she loves girls. There is a transvestite (or an actor playing a transvestite) in the first film, Benicio del Toro’s offering, and he appears on a later day too; there’s an occasional connection between the films, a few characters recur. Anyway, it reminded me that the film with the most transvestites ever is supposed to be Tam Tam by Adolfo Arrieta.
7 Days in Havana is OK and sometimes somewhat better than that, but it’s a pity that Almodovar didn’t contribute to it.