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Santiago Álvarez

Santiago Álvarez Román (March 18, 1919– May 20, 1998) was a Cuban filmmaker. He wrote and directed many documentaries about Cuban and American culture. His "nervous montage" technique of using "found materials," such as Hollywood movie clips, cartoons, and photographs, is considered a precursor to the modern video clip. He studied in the United States but in the mid-1940s returned to Cuba, where he worked as a music archivist in a television station and participated in Communist Party activities. After the Cuban Revolution he became a founding member of the Cuban Film Institute (ICAIC) and directed its weekly Latin American Newsreel. One of his most famous works, the short Now (1964) about racial discrimination in the USA, mixed news photographs and musical clips featuring singer/actress Lena Horne. Other well-known works included the anti-imperialist satire LBJ (1968) and 79 Springs (1969), a poetic tribute to Ho Chi Minh. In 1968, he collaborated with Octavio Getino and Fernando E. Solanas (members of Grupo Cine Liberación) on the four-hour documentary Hora de los hornos, about foreign imperialism in South America.

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