IVAN ACOSTA ON EL SUPER @ RAMAPO COLLEGE

  • Ramapo College G-238 505 Ramapo Valley Road Mahwah, NJ, 07430 United States
Iván Acosta on his balcony in Hell's Kitchen.

Iván Acosta on his balcony in Hell's Kitchen.

“Warm, witty and melancholic…” – Douglas Edwards, Advocate

Iván Acosta (A Cuban song in my heart forthcoming from Un-Gyve Press and Un-Gyve Records) will be at Ramapo College of New Jersey screening selections from El Súper for a discussion of  the work.

Back in 1979 when El Súper premiered in Miami the movie theater was packed with all kinds of Cuban exiles. Directors León Ichaso and Orlando Jimenez-Leal fondly remember, ‘All of them [Cubans] crying, screaming, and laughing. It was the first time we saw ourselves on the big screen. It was like looking in the mirror.’ What happened next was unexpected: El Súper traveled the circuit of major international film festivals, garnering widespread critical acclaim and screening to sold-out houses throughout the US. Thirty-five years later the film not only stands, as the writer Fabiola Santiago has admirably pointed out, ‘the quintessential film about the Cuban exile experience,’ but as a piece of art absolutely crucial to understanding the Cuban identity. 2013 Miami International Film Festival premiered this new restoration struck from the original negatives just completed by producer Manuel Arce.

This acclaimed Indie film directed by Leon Ichaso and Orlando Jimenez-Leal which made audiences laugh and cry all over the world will now captivate a new generation of fans.

Based on an original play by Iván Acosta and produced by Manuel Arce Riocabo this ‘small jewel of independent cinema’ first opened in 1979 to unanimously rave reviews. Andrew Sarris the legenday film critic wrote: ‘I was very pleasantly surprised, entertained, amused and moved by El Súper.’ Vincent Canby, the influential New York Times critic wrote: ‘El Súper is a movie to pay attention to.’ In addition, Mr. Canby selected Raymundo Hidalgo Gato’s performance in the titled role as one of the ‘top ten performances that lit the screen in 1979.’

Audiences everywhere loved its charm and poignant humor. It played to sold out cinemas in Miami, New York and all over the country. It won the Grand Prize at Germany’s Manheim Film Festival and as an official entry at the Venice Film Festival it received an emotional ten minute standing ovation from the packed house. This universal story, like the Rumba had no frontiers.
— A new restored print Special Presentation at Miami's Tower Theatre for the 2013 Miami International Film Festival
Iván Acosta, a playwright, filmmaker, and Latin jazz concert and record producer, has written 15 theatrical works and eight screenplays. The founder of the Cuban Cultural Center of New York, Mr. Acosta has worked as a copywriter and creative director at some of the most important Hispanic advertising agencies. One of his latest plays, Cuba: Punto X, won several theater awards, including the 2013-2014 Latin ACE Award, The H.O.L.A. Award and ATI Best Director nomination.

A classic of the cinema and theater of the Cuban diaspora, El Súper (1979) humorously chronicles the life of a Cuban family in New York City. The title character, a superintendent of a Washington Heights apartment building, struggles to survive and get ahead in exile. The ensuing breakdown of family and generational relationships is a universal theme of diasporic experience. Produced on a shoestring budget, El Súper remains the definitive film about Cuban exile. The original play was written and directed by Iván Acosta in 1977. The film version was produced by Manolo Arce and directed by León Ichaso and Orlando Jiménez Leal.
— Ramapo College of New Jersey

“An unbeatable human comedy from beginning to end” – Bruce Williamson, Playboy

“Don’t let the language barrier keep you away from El Súper.” - Joel Siegel, Eyewitness News

“In a compassionate voice, it speaks to immigrants of every nationality trying to fit into this sometime less-than-welcoming Land of Opportunity... A SUPER FILM…” – Candice Russell, The Miami Herald

¿Y quién dice que esta película es cubano-exilada? No hables boberías, mi hermano, como diría [el personaje de] Pancho… ¡esto es exiliado-universal! – René Jordán, El Miami Herald

“El Super is a sprightly tossed salad of sentiment, served on an intimate scale with equal parts of mirth and sorrow, where happiness is on the other side of pain, and the promise of a dream is around the corner from tomorrow.” – Nat Chediak, Miami International Film Festival Founding Director

“These people, all of whom are Cuban émigrés, take a light, humorous touch to El Súper’s predicament, but in doing so they throw in relief from the pain and dislocation that every immigrant group has experienced since the founding of this nation. El Súper thus becomes an instance of perceiving the universal through the particular, and as a result, is a genuinely American film.” – Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

El Súper deserves industry focus not only because it’s an able accomplishment done with energy and enthusiasm, but because its trio of filmmakers have handsomely accomplished what few of their peers have managed in the past: how to rap home a basically serious human theme in a thoroughly watchable, entertaining manner.” – Robert Osborne, The Hollywood Reporter

“Anglos will learn more about their Cuban friends in 90 minutes with El Súper than they can learn in seminars, lectures or intercommunity programs.” – Bill von Mauren, Miami News

“Mr. Hidalgo-Gato gives a remarkably funny and touching performance that never slops over into sentimentality… It’s a performance and a movie to pay attention to.” – Vincent Canby, The New York Times

“It is an extremely enyoyable experience to be shared by anyone possessing a normal complement of human symphaty.” Archer Winsten, The New York Post

“I was very pleasantly surprised, entertained, amused, and moved by El Súper, one of the unheralded sleepers that keep coming along to confound the hypesters.” – Andrew Sarris, The Village Voice

“Warm, witty and melancholic…” – Douglas Edwards, Advocate