With the holidays now a far distant memory, we were feeling nostalgic about the precious family time some of us only get a few times a year. So we decided to showcase a film that celebrates our fraternizing with people who will eventually get on our nerves; that praises eating as a competitive group sport; that relays that no matter how much you pack, you can’t take the place you’re leaving with you.
The Cuban short film Gozar, comer, partir is a collection of three vignettes representing each one of these highly satiating activities. In the first section Gozar, two strangers casually meet at a house party and quickly capitalize on their chemistry by heading up to one of the bedrooms. In Comer, a lunch date between three women takes an unexpected turn when one of them can’t control her strange appetite. Lastly, in Partir a woman and her friend load up the suitcase with local miscellany that she will be taking with her off island. The short combines clever usage of Cuban vernacular, absurdist humor, and fantastical elements for a largely gratifying experience. Like much of Cuban cinema, it also contains allusions to Cuban culture and politics. Stylistically the film is fairly straightforward, allowing us to focus to the dialogue and the performances both of which are rich and nuanced. The pacing is a bit slow especially for a comedy but a little patience pays off in lots of laughs.
Born in Santiago, lauded Cuban filmmaker Arturo Infante shot the film in 2006 and received the Best Short Film Award at the 2007 Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano in Havana. He studied theater at the Art Institute in Havana, and is a graduate of the film school in San Antonio de los Baños where he participated in a workshop titled Como se cuenta un cuento? taught by none other than Gabriel García Márquez. Infante lists Luis Buñuel, Arturo Ripstein, and Billy Wilder as some of his favorite filmmakers. He continues to work as a screenwriter, with both shorts and full-lengths to his credit, as he develops his first feature length film.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a version with subtitles on the web.