Rihanna Havana good time in Cuba

30 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Foreign film directors flock in as Cuba opens up to outside world.

HAVANA (AP) — Pop star Rihanna drew a crowd Friday while cruising down Havana’s Malecon shore boulevard in a classic American convertible from the 1950s. As film locations go, Cuba has got pretty much everything: a rich and turbulent history, the faded glamour of its capital Havana and a world-renowned music scene.

Havana – Singer Rihanna visited Cuba, where no sooner did she arrive earlier this week than she decided to enjoy native dishes and dance at a well-known Havana restaurant, La Fontana, the owner confirmed to EFE. Children and young people swarmed around the car, using their cellphones to snap pictures of the singer while security guards kept them from getting too close.

The pop diva from Barbados arrived on Wednesday from the United States on a private flight and, after landing, went out into the capital city, turning up unannounced at the La Fontana “paladar,” as privately-owned restaurants are called in Cuba, the establishment’s owner, Ernesto Blanco, said. “She came directly from the airport because she wanted to eat Cuban food,” said Blanco, who managed to have his photo taken next to Rihanna, a snapshot that the restaurant immediately posted to its Facebook page and spread in social media on Thursday. Inline skating, once popular, has fallen off in favor of skateboards. “If I tell you how I got this, you will laugh,” said Andrea Hernández, a 27-year-old former tour guide carrying her colorfully painted skateboard along the Paseo del Prado promenade. “I built this. The author lived there for years, and when he left — quite suddenly in 1960, under pressure by U.S. authorities — he left much of the artifacts of his life there intact. “I think Cuban people feel like Hemingway was part of Cuba,” Havana Tour Company guide Patricia Garcia Placeres told Mashable. “Some of his most important things are still here.” This room, with a work table and lounging chair in a tower at the side of Hemingway’s house in Cuba, was set up for him but he rarely used it.

Now, as the Communist country opens up following the “normalisation” of diplomatic relations between the Caribbean island and its old enemies in the US, foreign film-makers are rushing to take advantage. According to Blanco, Rihanna spent about two hours at La Fontana along with three companions in what seems to be a trip with relatives or friends, and she was accompanied by a “strong security team.” “She asked for two plates of food, a daiquiri.

People gave me the parts.” Skateboarding is another example of how Cubans have learned to make do as they try to emulate trends elsewhere that have not received official sanction in the island nation. He preferred to write in the main house. (Photographed May 10, 1965) Hemingway went fishing regularly with Fidel Castro, and he and his wife, Mary, spent many winters on the island for 20 years. Much as the lack of Internet connections has given rise to semi-clandestine services that download Western movies and television shows to portable hard drives that allow viewers to stay current on the latest entertainment on their home computers, skateboarders have found work-arounds to pursue a passion that is not yet officially recognized as a sport or recreational activity. He also said that Rihanna enjoyed classics of Cuban music while at the restaurant, including “La Guantanamera,” and she danced to the “son” rhythms played by the restaurant’s band.

Earlier this month, the LA production company Broad Green Pictures said it was preparing a sequel to the music documentary Buena Vista Social Club, to be made by British director Lucy Walker. The first, Havana Autos and Architecture, is being produced in collaboration with the architect Norman Foster, based on the book he wrote of the same name with Mauricio Vicent. Their owners have fought to preserve them, in spite of a lack of spare, and to ensure they look as shiny as the day they left the showroom. “He [Lord Foster] is making a link between the architecture and the cars,” Bosch explains of the feature-doc, which will tell six stories of owners who keep their cars going “forever and ever”. Overseeing the crew is Yojany Pérez Rivera, whose dreadlocks fly in the wind as he barrels up and down ramps, among the most veteran of Cuban skateboarders. “We’ve been trying to teach people that it’s not a kids’ thing, that it’s an art form, like photography. It’s a way to express yourself,” said Pérez, whose friends call him by his nickname, “Mamerto,” the rough equivalent of “dummy.” He doesn’t seem insulted.

Meanwhile, Bosch is also preparing a new feature doc called Churchill and Cuba, looking at the British political titan’s long engagement with Cuba – and with its cigars. Fidel Castro himself visited the film set during shooting, only a few weeks after overthrowing the Batista regime. “The stories of Graham Greene in Cuba will surprise a lot of people. A short English-language documentary that came out in 2007, “Cuban Skateboard Crisis,” raised awareness in the global skateboard community of the difficulties of obtaining boards in Cuba. “I saw that and thought, ‘That’s pretty harsh,’” said Scott McDonald, 41, a lifelong Canadian skateboarder from Hamilton, Ontario. It’s an awesome feeling,” McDonald said. “It’s the only (skateboard) scene in the world that’s 100 percent completely dependent on the generosity of others.” “When I saw it, I was really attracted.

For example, the Starsky & Hutch star David Soul has been involved in Cuban Soul, a film in which he helps the Cubans rebuild Ernest Hemingway’s long-lost 1955 Chrysler New Yorker, which was found recently in a near ruined condition. “In terms of doing fiction films, we are still legally some way away,” Bosch said, explaining the reason for the current focus on documentary films. “To do a fiction film with US actors is complicated because the money they are paid would be earned [there] and would break the embargo.” In scripted letters across his chest reads an English-language tattoo: “We are the generation of different concepts.” Rene Lecour, the son of Cuban immigrants to South Florida, is a founder of Amigo Skate Cuba and a former skateboard shop owner.

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