'Hollywood in Havana' at film festival is homecoming for director

(September 19, 2018)

When "Errol Flynn's Ghost: Hollywood in Havana" screens at SPU's Roy Irving Theatre as part of the Golden Door Film Festival, it will be a bit of a homecoming for director Gaspar Gonzalez. He was born 1968 in the Margaret Hague Maternity Hospital (part of the original Jersey City Medical Center space that is now condos). His family had settled in West New York in the 1960s – after they left Cuba.

"For me personally, I was always fascinated by the fact that my parents and grandparents, who otherwise were not steeped in American pop culture, could rattle off the names of classical Hollywood stars and recount the plots of even obscure movies," says Gonzalez, "because they had seen them

Funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Hammer and Nail Productions documentary explores the phenomenon that Hollywood movies were in 1940s and 50s-era Cuba, with Havana, as their press release notes, "reportedly boasting more movie-theatre seats per capita than any city in the world."