For a few years now, around my birthday I like to take a trip out with the intention of finding a new film to purchase and watch to mark the occasion. This is a tradition that was born pretty much around the same time that I had my first child. A time when I bid my beloved birthday voyage to the cinema farewell and in fact all of my cinema voyages were replaced with long hours of breast feeding and mothering. So, cinema trips of old were replaced by dvd's and boxsets in wild abundance!
This year on my film search I was delighted to very quickly discover the stunning Chico & Rita. I've only watched it once so far and I loved it! Generally when I'm asked if I have a favourite piece or genre of music/fashion time period/country/film etc I am struck dumb and can pull no evidence out of the bag to prove that I even have likes and dislikes nevermind passions. But as I sat watching Chico & Rita I realised I am a hideous romantic about Cuba, in particular 1950's Cuba (in which Chico &Rita is set). I love the dresses from this time, the fresh flowers adorning hair, the old standards sung into chrome microphones, the focused stories of unrequited love sung over and over again irrespective of the economic and political hardships (I only fantasise about Cuba pre-Castro, I don't do after 1959!) and above all, the lovely and varied mocha, choca shades of the cuban people that gives me a dreamy feeling of belonging. Sigh ... Chico & Rita, this birthday's special find.