Wednesday, December 24, 2003  
WXPort
Feedback
 Clubs TonightHot TixBand GuideMP3sBest Music PollSki GuideThe Best '03 
 By Movie | By Theater | Film Specials | Hot Links | Review Archive |  
Home
Listings
Editors' Picks
New This Week
News and Features

Art
Astrology
Books
Dance
Food & Drink
Movies
Music
Television
Theater

Archives
Letters

Classifieds
Personals
Adult
Stuff at Night
The Providence Phoenix
The Portland Phoenix
FNX Radio Network

   
  E-Mail This Article to a Friend

BOLA DE NIEVE

In José Sánchez-Montesís documentary, the Cambridge Latino Film Festival picked a rich topic for its opening entry. Born Ignacio Villa in Guanabacoa, Cuba, in 1911 and nicknamed (according to his own recounting in an old interview thatís included) "Bola de Nieve" ("Snowball") by schoolmates after a female silent-film character, he developed an individual vocal and piano style ó combining jazz, blues, and local folk traditions with a classical-music background and his own puckish innovations ó that earned him legendary status in his homeland and throughout Latin America before his death in 1971. Sánchez-Montes intercuts interviews with friends, relatives, colleagues, and experts with archival footage of Bolaís performances. More of the latter would be welcome: he comes off as a combination of Louis Armstrong and Harry Belafonte, with an indefinable "affectation," as one commentator puts it. That affectation might be the grief and flamboyance of his repressed homosexuality, which, along with his politics and his involvement in the occult religion of santería, Sánchez-Montes barely touches on. Nonetheless, the filmís sketchiness and suggestiveness are evocative and mysterious, imitating, perhaps, Bolaís own style, which is described by one expert as "the relationship between notes and silence." In Spanish with English subtitles.


Issue Date: October 24 - 30, 2003
Back to the Movies table of contents
  E-Mail This Article to a Friend







about the phoenix |  find the phoenix |  advertising info |  privacy policy |  the masthead |  feedback |  work for us

 © 2000 - 2003 Phoenix Media Communications Group