Oct 032010

Many of you already know and love the 1999 documentary Buena Vista Social Club; some of you have yet to discover this beautiful film.   The musicians, the performances, the interviews and the cinematography are wonderful.   Because New Equations has identified the soultype of many of the the musicians and filmmakers,  is also a wonderful resource for observing people of different soultypes expressing the strength and wisdom of their soul.

Enjoy Buena Vista Social Club, again or for the first time, with the awareness of the special gift that each performer and contributor brings through the physical expression of their soul strength.  It is available as a rental or on the internet through YouTube, and Hulu (and probably elsewhere.)

Following are the soultypes of many of the people what are part of Buena Vista Social Club:
Soultype 1 – Top of the throat:  Omara Portuondo
Soultype 2 – Solar plexus:  Juan de Marcos Gonzalez
Soultype 3 – Top of the sternum:  Compay Segundo
Soultype 4 – Lower abdomen:   Orlando “Cacahaito” Lopez
Soultype 5 – Top of the head:  Amadito Baldes
Soultype 6 – Center of the sternum:  Ry Cooder, Wim Wenders and Manuel “Guajiro” Mirabel
Soultype 7 – Center of the forehead/Third Eye:  Pio Leyva, Ruben Gonzalez and Barbarito Torres
Soultype 8 – Base of the spine/Sacrum:  Eliades Ochoa
Soultype 9 – Between the shoulder blades:  Ibrahim Ferrer and Joachim Cooder

As you watch the movie, notice how each of these people move, how they use eye contact, and how your body feels when you watch them. Sense the different qualities of their energy.

Here are a few places to especially notice the physicality and energy of the soultype being expressed:

Omara Portuondo (Soultype 1 – Top of the throat) As she sings and moves across the stage, watch her move from her throat, and notice the soft receptiveness of her eyes. Also, the scene in which she walks down the street singing and greeting people–observe how they respond to her, and the feeling that she sees the divine in every person. Watch for a beautiful scene at the beginning of the movie when she sings with Ibrahim Ferrer–the camera circles them as they sing, looking into each other’s eyes.

Ibrahim Ferrer (Soultype 9 – Between the shoulder blades) Ibrahim’s face shows the ST 9 expression of strength, in particular:
-when he sings with Omara at the beginning of the movie
-when he receives applause while standing onstage at the end of the movie at Carnegie Hall
-when he talks about his life and his mother
As you watch, notice how it feels in your body to be with a ST 9.

Compay Segundo (Soultype 3 – Top of the sternum) Feel his energy as he describes the song while sitting in his room on the bed. Also, notice his compelling charm as he drives through town looking for the old Buena Vista Club. He shows the beautiful ST 3 smile and facial expression of strength when he sings on stage with both Omara and Ry Cooder.

Ruben Gonzalez (Soultype 7 – Center of the forehead/Third Eye) In the scene where the Buena Vista social club plays at Carnegie Hall, see how this pianist moves from his forehead when he plays solo piano.

Pio Leyva (Soultype 7 – Center of the forehead/Third Eye) Feel his playfulness as he sings and holds the microphone out to the audience.

Eliades Ochoa (Soultype 8 – Base of the spine/Sacrum) Feel the solidness of his body as he walks along the railroad tracks while he plays the guitar. Notice how connected to the ground his energy is when he sits down to play.

Ry Cooder (Soultype 6 – Center of the sternum) During the motorcycle ride into town his body takes in the world at his chest, the location of his movement/energy center. Notice his heightened awareness of music whenever he listens, and how he picks up every nuance.

Joachim Cooder (Soultype 9 – Between the shoulder blades) Watch the fluid movement of his body as he sits and plays the drums – it is like watching the waves in the ocean.

Juan de Marcos Gonzalez (Soultype 2 – Solar plexus) As the band’s coordinator and one of the driving forces behind the Buena Vista Social Club, his energy helped pull the people together to make this happen. He is seen only briefly throughout the film in a short interview near the end: he’s outside, wearing shorts and leaning against a building door frame.

Wim Wenders (Soultype 6 – Center of the sternum) As the movie’s producer and director, his filmmaking style communicates how a ST 6 senses the world: many hits of richness, depth, and intensity coming from everything and anything in the environment. It is a constant swirl: a cigar, the shine on a person’s shoes, leaves sparkling in the sun, the color of a car, the sound of the waves… Intense energy is moving all around and it never stops.

Click here for biographies, with photos, of most of the performers. There are links to more information, including audio and video interviews, under The Film and The Musicians headings on the left-side menu.

This is an excerpt from an article about Wim Wenders and the film:

In late December Wim Wenders visited Australia to promote Buena Vista Social Club, his documentary on the life and music of what is now Cuba’s most famous band. Described by some as a love letter to Cuba and its musicians, the film was shot over three weeks in 1998 and released to widespread critical acclaim last year. The film powerfully captures the alluring beauty of Cuban music and the irrepressible energy and artistic vitality of Buena Vista Social Club band members, whose average age is 70.

Wenders, who was born in 1945, studied medicine and philosophy before attending the Academy of Film and Television in Munich from 1967-70. He was a film critic for Süddeutsche Zeitung and Filmkritik in the late 1960s and since 1970 has directed more than 20 feature films. Along with Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Werner Herzog, Wenders was one of the leading figures of the New German Cinema of the 1970s. Many of his films achieve the lyrical and atmospheric mysticism first produced by Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni. One leading cinematographer accurately commented that “light and landscape are actors” in all Wenders’ films.–Richard Phillips 1/10/00)

This article is part of the “Expression of the Soul” Series and is included in our Media Library.

  2 Responses to “Buena Vista Social Club: “Expressions of the Soul” Series at the Movies”

  1. A New Equations Movie Night! This is wonderful for anyone wanting to enjoy this movie with friends or family. The descriptions provided above are very helpful and make it possible to more easily watch for soultype expression without wondering which person is which. Thank you for this gift! Phoebe

  2. Cool. While I have known about this movie, and seen some clips of it, I have never watched it start to finish. I will rent it and make it an activity. Thanks,

    Susan Fisher

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